UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has dealt with the brunt of the criticism from the decision by the fight promotion to cancel UFC 151. His call to decline a bout with Chael Sonnen resulted in no card taking place on September 1.
UFC president Dana White was one of those that was very critical of Jones immediately following news of UFC 151’s cancellation. Now, in an interview with UFC Tonight, White believes “Bones” can learn from this mistake.
“If I went back to being 23 years old with a ton of fame and a ton of money, that’s when you make all your mistakes,” White said. “The great thing about making your mistakes in your late 20s and 30s, you’ve already made all your mistakes and you can conduct yourself the way you should.”
Jones has wavered on taking the blame for the way things went down, even offering at one point to pay the fighter salaries for those who were unable to compete. He’s also stated that the ultimate decision laid with the UFC, not with him.
“I give Jon Jones a lot of slack,” White said. “The guy is young. I’m never going to tell you because Jon Jones didn’t fight in 151 that he’s a terrible fighter. He’s a phenomenal fighter.”
White added that he has “dealt with the baddest dudes in the world for the last 12 years, and that’s what I like doing.” In the past, the brash boss has went head-to-head with the likes of Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell and Brock Lesnar in terms of contracts and fights.