Light heavyweight king Jon Jones probably shouldn’t expect a Christmas card from UFC president Dana White (Pictured) this December. After declining a last-second scrap against Chael Sonnen, who hasn’t fought in the 205-pound division in nearly seven years, Jones has found himself on his boss’ bad side because the Octagon was forced to cancel their first show since Zuffa took the helm in 2001.
“We’ve never, ever had a fighter refuse to fight somebody,” an irritated White stated during Thursday’s conference call. “Especially a guy, who not only is a world champion, but who is supposed by many as one of the top pound-for-pound guys in the world. Absolutely refused to fight a guy. Never happened.
“I can’t make somebody fight. I can’t say, ‘You’re absolutely going to fight this Saturday and you have to do it.’ I can’t do that. You’re either a fighter or you’re not. I can’t make you fight, but it’s probably not a good idea to not do it.”
Despite all of his accomplishments in such a short period of time, Jones’ popularity outside of the Octagon hasn’t matched his successes inside of it. For whatever reason, fans haven’t hopped aboard the “Bones” bandwagon like they have with past, and less accomplished, champions. White professes the 25-year-old has dug himself even further into the doghouse following his latest move.
“I don’t think that this is a decision that’s gonna make Jon Jones popular with the fans, sponsors, cable distributors, television network executives or other fighters,” White expressed. “Jon Jones has been a champion who hasn’t been very popular. I don’t think this is going to do wonders for his popularity.
“As far as the relationship with us, me and [UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta] are both disgusted.”
In case you missed how this whole mess began, Dan Henderson was forced to withdraw from his September 1st scrap against Jones after tearing the MCL in his knee.