Ron Chenoy, US PRESSWIRE
In a live television appearance Monday night, UFC President Dana White hoped to start a new streak of more than dozen years of not having to cancel a show, and favored the use of instant replays on controversial calls.
After all the words that have been said in the past two weeks between UFC President Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, the reality is - at least for now - they are stuck with each other and have to figure out a way to make it work.
And there's no time for a cooling off period like would normally happen if there's a big dispute between the head guy and a top fighter since Jones is back in the main event at UFC 152, which is now ten days away.
"Now that this fight [UFC 151] was canceled, and now such a long time without a fight, I think people will be fired up [for UFC 152]," said White.
Jones and the cancellation of UFC 151 were among the topics talked about on Monday night's Inside MMA when White rushed from Las Vegas, Nev. and the filming of 'The Ultimate Fighter' reality show, to Los Angeles, Ca. where the show on AXS TV is filmed and broadcast live.
"Let me tell you the way I look at it. In two years, we've never had to cancel, we always delivered the show, and I was proud of that," said White. "But all good runs come to an end, and that one came to an end. And now we have to get to another 12 years, breaking the streak. I honestly thought it would never happen."
White noted he saw first-hand the damage and bad will caused by the cancellation in Las Vegas on Aug. 30, two days before what was supposed to be UFC 151, when he was having dinner at the Mandalay Bay Hotel where the show was scheduled to take place.
"I went to dinner and there were so many people in town, a lot of people bought cheap flights and couldn't get out of them, they had hotel rooms, the collateral damage is bigger than people even realize," he said.
Since the cancellation, both White and Jones have continued to defend their positions, with Jones blaming it on Dan Henderson as well as it being UFC's fault for not running deeper cards, White has been a little more tempered about Jones, given he now has to get into high gear promoting Jones vs. Vitor Belfort on Sept. 22 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for the UFC light heavyweight title.
But he hasn't backed down on his thoughts about Jones or his head coach, Greg Jackson.
"Jon Jones and I haven't talked since the whole incident," White noted. "I'm going to see him in a few days in Toronto. We'll see what happens, where we go from here. I think I was pretty honest and open about how I felt about it, (and) a little emotional. I said it before and I'll say it again, Greg Jackson is the one who told him, `If you take this fight, it'll be the biggest mistake you ever made in your whole career.' Every time I say it, I laugh. And that's no disrespect to Chael Sonnen. It's the most insane thing I've ever heard in my life. Jon and I will talk and we'll figure this thing out."
White also brought up the potential of two of the biggest fights in UFC history, one of which, Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva, has been talked about a lot of late. The other, Silva vs. Jones, which may be every bit as big or bigger, which hasn't been talked about too extensively given that both men have publicly stated they have no interest in facing each other.
"Here's how this whole thing has gone down," said White. "Anderson and Georges St. Pierre were talking like they didn't want to fight. Now if Georges St. Pierre wins this Carlos Condit fight, he says he wants to fight Anderson, and Anderson says he wants to fight him. That fight will probably happen first. Now Anderson and Jones say, `We're buddies,' or whatever the deal is. He didn't want to fight Rashad (Evans) either and that happened.
"When you get to the point where Anderson is in his career, he's beaten everybody, he's broken every record in UFC history, if he beats Georges St-Pierre, I'll guarantee he'll be eye-balling Jon Jones."
The show also had White talking about a new topic, which is an offshoot of his regular talking points regarding both judging and officiating. In this case, he strongly advocated usage of instant replays.
"Every other sport has instant replay. Fighting needs to do it, especially with how bad the officiating is, judges and referees. They've got this thing with combat sports, the athletic commissions have this thing, once a guy makes a decision, it can't be overturned. It's insane. In football, guys are going to make mistakes. You can't see from all of the angles, you can't see everything. This sport is so young. There's a lot of people who aren't qualified to judge and referee this sport. Instant replay makes sense. Instant replay would be awesome. Once you make a bad decision, you affect this guy's life forever. You make a mistake in a baseball game, there's 190 more games. If you make a mistake in fighting, you hurt the guy immensely.
"It has to get better. If it doesn't, everybody's in trouble. I consistently, when bad calls are made, I call people out. We're doing everything we can to stop this from happening. I think it's one of the worst things when a guy loses a fight who didn't really lose the fight. You know how hard they (the fighters) work, how hard they train, how much they put into this, and it affects their money, it affects their legacy, it affects everything.
"Jon Jones has one loss on his record. That isn't right. It isn't a loss. He should be undefeated. We should be able to promote him as the undisputed, undefeated light heavyweight champion, and we can't because there was a guy reffing a fight who doesn't belong there."
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