In his first television appearance since news of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones' positive cocaine test went public, Dana White went on Fox Sports 1's "America's Pregame" for a 1-on-1 interview with host Mike Hill. The interview was exclusively about Jon Jones, the handling of the drug test, whether or not the UFC had knowledge of his results prior to Jones' fight with Daniel Cormier, and how this all affects the image of both Jones and the sport. MMA Fighting compiled some of the biggest quotes from the brief interview:
...On White's reaction when he found out about Jones' results.
Dana White: You worry about the person first. You forget about the fighting and the work side.— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 7, 2015
...On Jones' mental state going into rehab (White confirmed he had spoken to Jones).
Dana White on Jones: He was in a good place going in there. I'm sure he's even in a better place today.— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 7, 2015
...On why Jones vs. Cormier was not cancelled.
Dana White on why he didn't postpone event: 1) he's healthy. 2) the reason you would stop the fight would be if he tested for PEDs— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 7, 2015
Dana White: Because of the contract, they couldn’t cancel the fight. "He has a right to fight."— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) January 7, 2015
...On Nevada Athletic Commission testing for street drugs despite it not being prohibited out-of-competition.
Dana White: Everything happens for a reason. It's a great thing that it happened. Who would have known?— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 7, 2015
White: The stuff he’s doing hurts, not helps. "Imagine how good this guy is going to be."— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) January 7, 2015
...On how this affects the image of Jon Jones and MMA.
Dana White: We're worried about Jon Jones the human being, the person. We're not worried about the image of the sport. We applaud him.— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 7, 2015
..On potential punishment for Jones.
Any punishment? White: "We follow the lead of the Nevada State Athletic Commission." He said they’ve become more lenient with street drugs.— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) January 7, 2015
Additionally, Dana White confirmed that the UFC knew about Jones' result before his fight, but the UFC did not tell Daniel Cormier because "he didn't need to be". The biggest sticking point was that Jones merely tested positive for a recreational drug and not PEDs. Had it been PEDs, "everything would have shut down", essentially indicating that they would've been forced to cancel the fight.
White will also make an appearance on UFC Tonight, which airs this evening at 8 PM ET.