As UFC‘s International Fight Week rolls on this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, several top UFC fighters and personalities are making the media rounds to help spread the word about what is expected to be among the biggest UFC events of all-time.
Among the long list of media stops made on Friday, just over 24 hours away from the landmark UFC 200 event, which emanates from the brand new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, UFC President Dana White and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier appeared on “The Herd” on FS1 to talk about some of the main storylines heading into Saturday’s highly-anticipated event, which caps off three consecutive, Las Vegas-based UFC fight cards in three days.
For his part, UFC President Dana White appears to have reached his limit in terms of the consistent amount of headaches that comes as part of the package deal with the still young, scary-talented, essentially undefeated former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones.
The latest Jones-related incident was a whole new can of worms to deal with, as for the first time ever Jones popped hot on an out-of-competition drug test leading up to his second fight with Daniel Cormier, which was scheduled to serve as the main event of the pay-per-view. Due to the new strict Anti-Doping policy put into place by the UFC and USADA, however, there was no choice but to immediately pull Jones from the card
Worse yet, “Bones” is not even close to being “in the clear” with this incident, as he is rumored to have popped hot for two different banned substances, both of which are said to be “performance-enhancers.” As White noted during the special impromptu press conference held to make the announcement regarding Jones being pulled from UFC 200, he is actually looking at the very real possibility of having a two year suspension — or more — to deal with before he can worry about anything else.
While initially talking about another guy who was scheduled at one point to headline UFC 200, and as of late, another well-known championship fighter who no-doubt has given White his fair share of headaches, Conor McGregor, the UFC President switched gears and addressed the Jones incident in very typical, candid Dana White fashion.
“And then you have the Jon Jones‘s, where how many chances can you give this guy?” White said to Colin Cowherd, the host of “The Herd” on FS1. “How many breaks can you cut this kid? You know what I mean?”
As White continued to talk and elaborate on the Jones topic, it was quickly becoming clear that it’s still a very raw nerve for the UFC boss.
“Listen, I don’t know where Lorenzo [Fertitta] is on this issue, but I still haven’t talked to Jon Jones,” he said. “There’s nothing for me and Jon Jones to talk about. I haven’t and I’m not going to. There is nothing for us to talk about.”
In fact, White would go one step further, pointing out that not only does he feel there is nothing left for the two to talk about, he’s claiming that with how he feels about things right now, he wouldn’t even take a call from Jones if the longtime UFC star were to reach out to him.
“No, I’m not talking to Jon Jones,” he said. “I’m not talking, and there’s no reason for us to talk. The guy is a professional. I truly believe…listen, I’m not the biggest Jon Jones fan right now, but I truly believe that he did take a supplement, that had the stuff in it, and it wasn’t intentional. I truly believe that. But at the same time, come on. You’re 28 years old, you’re probably the greatest talent to ever step foot in this sport, right? Call USADA and tell them what supplements you’re taking. You’ve already been through this history of just absolute madness. Why would you do this — forget doing this to us, why would you do this to yourself?
“You’re a grown-up, and the guys that are around him are just as bad. The guys that are supposed to be looking out for him, and watching his back, gimme a break. Gimme a break. Jon should have cleaned house a long time ago. That’s what Jon should have done.”
Cormier, who was scheduled to defend the 205-pound title against Jones in the headline bout of UFC 200, also appeared on the FS1 sports-talk program to discuss the Jones situation, as well as his new challenge for Saturday evening, which comes in the form of a fight on just a few days notice against a former longtime UFC champion and the fighter many point to as the best in the short history of the sport, Anderson Silva.
For Cormier it was obviously a disaster hand-delivered to him, one that he had no control over but came extremely close to costing him in a major way — literally — as he nearly lost out on what would have been his biggest career payday, particularly knowing the profit-participation in the pay-per-view that an active UFC Champion competes on. With this being an enormous event just on the name and number alone, the fact that it also added the long-awaited Octagon return of Brock Lesnar, who always brings crazy business with him whenever he’s in the mix on a big event, was just more reassurance that things were falling into place for Saturday to be an opportunity for D.C. to change his life, legacy and bank account statement in a major way, all within a 25-minute window inside an eight-sided caged structure with millions of fans watching.
Cormier, who fights MMA legend Anderson Silva in a three-round, non-title fight in the UFC Light Heavyweight division at UFC 200 this Saturday, wasn’t as quick to commit to wanting nothing to do with Jones in the same way his boss was. In fact, when asked outright, Cormier made it clear that he is still willing to fight his longtime rival if the fight can ever come together again in the future.
Join us here at MMANews.com this Saturday for live coverage of the UFC 200 pay-per-view event!
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 8, 2016
H/T to Chuck Mindenhall and MMAFighting.com for transcribing the above Dana White quotes from “The Herd.”