It’s tough for UFC president Dana White to forget what happened last July.
On the cusp of what was supposed to be one of the most historic card in the company’s history, Jon Jones was pulled from UFC 200 after testing positive for a banned substance just days before his rematch with Daniel Cormier was set to headline the massive event.
It’s been more than a year since that incident happened, but White says just days away from Jones’ return to the Octagon that he still hasn’t spoken to the embattled former champion about what transpired at UFC 200.
“Jon Jones and I still haven’t talked since the last time he pulled out of [UFC] 200. But you know he’s getting the opportunity to come back and face Daniel Cormier,” White told ESPN this week. “Without a doubt, two of the best light heavyweights ever, both of these guys. Jon Jones obviously has had the potential to be the greatest of all time.
“I mean this guy still hasn’t lost a fight. If you look at his record, there’s a one there [in the loss column] but it was because of a ref that shouldn’t have even been reffing. A guy who completely screwed up Jon Jones’ record. So this is Jon Jones’ chance to come back and stay undefeated.”
White can’t deny that he was enraged by what unfolded at UFC 200 because Jones vs. Cormier 2 was supposed to be the centerpiece for one of the biggest cards of the year if not one of the most talked about events of all time.
Instead, Jones dropping out just days before his fight became the focal point as the UFC scrambled to plug in a new last minute main event while shuffling the structure for the card without the light heavyweight title fight at the top.
A lot of time has passed since then and White says he no longer holds onto the same anger for Jones that he did back then but the UFC 214 press conference on Wednesday will mark the first time they’ve spoken since that altercation last year.
“I wasn’t happy with him and with him falling out of [UFC] 200. I feel like we’ve been there for the guy every time he’s had a problem and for him to do that at 200, I was not happy,” White said. “But we don’t have to talk for him to come back and do what he’s going to try to do on Saturday night.
“We don’t have to talk. I’m not mad at him like I was before and we’ll see how this thing plays out. If he doesn’t show up for this one, that’s going to be a whole other ball game but I’m cool with Jon Jones right now.”