Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
It may have looked briefly like UFC president Dana White and UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones were slowly but surely patching things up in the aftermath of the cancellation of UFC 151. That event, scheduled for September 2, never happened when challenger Dan Henderson got hurt and Jones declined to fight last-second substitute Chael Sonnen.
Both Jones and White seemingly had cooled down and were looking forward to re-building their relationship which was damaged when White publicly blamed his champ for turning down the fight. Then Jones told Ariel Helwani that the whole experience left him feeling "like a piece of meat" (16:23 into the video).
Dana wasn't long in reacting, telling a group of reporters in Las Vegas (per MMA Fighting's Andy Samuelson), "That sounds like something a male supermodel would say: I feel like a piece of meat out here (White said in a mocking voice).
White promised that Jones' comments would be the first topic of discussion when they meet at UFC 152 in Canada where Jones is set to face Vitor Belfort.
"I don't know, we'll see how our talk goes. We've proven you don't have to best friends to work here," White said. "But it's not a good idea to have a horrible relationship with us either. I get mad all the time and (expletive) happens, but the voice of reason in the next office over here (UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta). If you can get along with him than I'm cool with that. We run a business.
"Lorenzo was really pissed. Like I said pissing me off is one thing, I'm always pissed off. But he's never pissed off. You start getting to the point where you're pissing him off, then ..."
More from Dana after the jump...
White also ripped into Jones' trainer Greg Jackson, laying the blame on him for Jones pulling out of the Sonnen fight. White said he called Jones immediately after hearing that Henderson wouldn't be able to fight.
"I was driving off the freeway, I had just landed and called him and told him what Sonnen said and he (expletive) laughed,. It wasn't like: Whoa (expletive) this might be the biggest mistake of my (expletive) career.
"I thought we had a (expletive) fight. He was laughing and was like 'Alright I'm going to call my team and call you back in a little while.' And then they call back and it was a completely different (expletive) story. It was the genius Greg Jackson that talked him out of the fight. Talked him out of fighting Chael Sonnen on eight days (expletive) notice, yet fighting Vitor Belfort off a full (expletive) camp.
"Ok, we were gonna fight Dan Henderson, guy's got (expletive) knockout power, great wrestling, a good chin, tough (expletive) guy. Now here's Chael Sonnen on eight days notice and he's a (expletive) 185 pounder, coming in with no camp whatsoever. And you heard what they said: he's a southpaw. Vitor Belfort's a (expletive) southpaw. And hits (expletive) harder, and is faster and more explosive. So you're gonna (expletive) say no to him on eight days notice but fight (Vitor). It's so stupid that it gets me angry."