Jon Jones says he’s giving Dana White the silent treatment ahead of UFC 214 showdown with Cormier
‘I haven’t answered any of his calls or any of his text messages,’ says American fighter
Jon Jones said the yearlong silence between him and UFC president Dana White is the fighter’s own doing.
“Dana White has reached out to me on at least four occasions, and I haven’t answered any of his calls or any of his text messages – that’s the reason we haven’t spoken,” Jones said after a White interview this week in which the UFC official first revealed the distance between him and the UFC’s former No 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
Jones, 30, who is wrapping up preparations for his Saturday UFC 214 fight against light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, has been trailed by troubles since defeating Cormier on January 3, 2015.
A pre-fight drug test revealed cocaine in Jones’ system. He was then stripped of his belt later that year after crashing his car into one driven by a pregnant woman, injuring her.
Then, a year ago on the fight week before UFC 200, Jones tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance that caused him to be removed from the card.
White said he was upset that the former light-heavyweight champion had let the UFC down.
Both men were scheduled to appear on stage together at Wednesday’s UFC 214 news conference in Los Angeles.
Jones (22-1) said he didn’t appreciate the treatment he received, considering what he had done for the UFC by dominating with eight consecutive successful title defences in pay-per-view matches.
“I just feel like when you’re making the company money and you’re a pay-per-view draw and you’re ultimately putting money in his pocket, then you mean a lot to him,” Jones said of White.
“The moment you aren’t those things, you mean nothing to him, and he’s done a decent job of showing that. I felt completely abandoned by him ... in a situation when I needed him the most.”
In a text message to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, White said of Jones’ comments: “Sounds like something he and I will eventually have to straighten out.”
White has similarly been hard on UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes this month after she backed out of the UFC 213 main event on fight day with sinus and abdominal issues, and, earlier, on flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson for declining a fight with former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.
“I feel like he’s shown me his true colours, and now I have no desire to pretend like he cares about me or that we’re friends,” Jones said.
Jones said he was contractually obligated to stage the rematch with Cormier, and that was worked out without him speaking to White.
“Unless he has something real pressing to talk to me about, I’d rather just talk to Ari Emanuel,” Jones said of the WME/IMG head who purchased the UFC last year for $4 billion. “As of now, I look at Ari as my boss and as Dana as more the face and the voice of UFC.”