UFC president Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta have had their chat with Jon Jones (Pictured) regarding his DUI arrest and left the meeting believing their reigning light heavyweight champ has learned his lesson. Like many other youngsters on the planet, the 24-year-old made a poor choice and will now have to suffer the consequences of his actions.
However, after stating the organization wouldn’t publicly punish Jones for getting locked up – like by taking away his UFC sponsorship – White took the opportunity to spotlight there is much more to being dubbed the baddest mixed martial artist alive than what simply takes place inside the Octagon.
“I’m not involved in all the legal stuff that’s going on with Jones, but he flew out a few nights ago and sat down with me and Lorenzo and talked,” White shared following Saturday’s UFC 146 post-fight press conference. “I like Jon Jones. He’s a good guy. He’s a young kid. He made a mistake that night and we’ll see what happens.
“That’s why when everybody is so quick to start calling pound-for-pound best in the world, there’s so much more that goes along with being … When you look at Anderson [Silva] still, Anderson has been the champion since he’s been in the UFC, pretty much. The guy has broken every UFC record, never has any problems, shooting commercials left and right now – in every way, shape and form – he’s a pain in my ass sometimes – but I think that Anderson Silva is the greatest mixed martial artist ever.”
While many will argue that what a fighter does outside of the sport shouldn’t influence his stature in it, White clearly believes that being a positive role model that the UFC can endorse also plays a part in being the game’s top dog.
At the same time, Silva is 13 years Jones’ elder and he has plenty of time to mature. Although, “Bones” needs to immediately surround himself with real-men and not yes-men before it’s too late.
“He’s a young kid and he’s gonna need a lot of guidance. A lot of guidance,” White flatly stated. “The kid is incredibly talented, he’s starting to make tons of money and he’s getting really famous. So, those are all the recipes for disaster.
“[His arrest] won’t affect the date [of his next bout], but how it will affect him in the fight, we’ll see.”
Jones defends this throne against Dan Henderson on September 1st at UFC 151.