While UFC president Dana White was tossing several expletives at MMA trainer Greg Jackson during a special conference call on Thursday, Jackson was doing his best to defend himself on The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo.
White took issue with Jackson telling UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to turn down a fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 after Dan Henderson was forced to pull out with a knee injury. Jackson explained his decision process on the radio show.
“I was asked if it was smart to take a fight on three days (due to media obligations and weight cutting) notice, and I didn’t think it’s smart to do that,” Jackson said (thanks to Bloody Elbow for transcribing). “Three days to fight a guy that caliber (of Sonnen) is not a smart thing to do. I’m not trying to ruin the sport or cancel an event. I don’t know about that stuff, but I thought it wasn’t a wise course of action.”
Sonnen was willing to accept the fight, and the UFC started to put together new commercials on Wednesday evening. White, however, said he found out early Thursday that Jones has declined the fight. Instead, Jones will face Lyoto Machida on September 22 at the new UFC 151: Jones vs. Machida II card in Toronto.
Jackson said he was confused by White’s words, adding, “I really like Dana and respect him….there is no ill feelings. I’m more confused than anything else. I didn’t know they had (the entire card) riding on one fight. It’s one of those things. As a trainer, I’ll give you my opinion. I’m not a yes man. I do what’s best for my guy.”