Like many, UFC president Dana White questioned the words of Joe Rogan, the company's long-time color commentator, when Rogan wondered whether racism is part of the reason UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones isn't more popular than he is.
But White's questions pertained to Jones' level of popularity, not the questions of racial motives. White told UFC.com on Thursday that he thinks the world's top pound-for-pound fighter is plenty popular.
"Who says Jones isn't popular? I mean, as far as our business goes, Jones is very popular," White said. "I think Joe is saying, ‘Why isn't he this massive superstar? The guy is so talented, his brothers are two NFL players, etcetera, etcetera.' There's no doubt that Jon has had his share of issues since he's been the champ, but I wouldn't say that Jon Jones isn't popular."
If fans don't like Jones - and clearly some don't - White believes it could be for plenty of reasons and not necessarily because of the color of one's skin.
"Mike Tyson is black. Muhammad Ali is black. LeBron James is black," White said. "There are a lot of guys out there that are black that people love. There's people out there that don't like them too. But you're a human being, man. Some people are going to like you and some people aren't. I'm white. There's a lot of people that like me and a lot of people that don't."
Rogan's comments about Jones during his Monday podcast became a subject of Internet debate. Wednesday, Rogan went on Twitter and claimed the media mischaracterized his words, ensuring the comments would continue to be discussed.