According to Jon Jones, the year-long silence between he and Dana White was his choice.
The UFC 214 press conference on Wednesday marked the first time the two men had interacted since Jones’ failed drug test at UFC 200 resulted in the cancellation of his headlining bout with Daniel Cormier. After that, White vowed that Jones would not be booked in a main event bout again, but those plans eventually changed.
However, Jones told the The Los Angeles Times that he has resisted the attempts of the UFC President to reach out in recent months.
“Dana White has reached out to me on at least four occasions, and I haven’t answered any of his calls or any of his text messages — that’s the reason we haven’t spoken,” Jones said.
Over the years, White has not masked his displeasure with the former light heavyweight champion. When Jones elected not to face Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 on short notice, White blasted the fighter and his camp for causing the cancellation of the event. After Jones was arrested for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run accident in April 2015 and was eventually stripped of his belt and suspended indefinitely, White didn’t sugarcoat his reaction.
Meanwhile, Jones doesn’t believe he has received the support he should have from White.
“I just feel like when you’re making the company money and you’re a pay-per-view draw and you’re ultimately putting money in his pocket, then you mean a lot to him,” Jones said.
“The moment you aren’t those things, you mean nothing to him, and he’s done a decent job of showing that. I felt completely abandoned by him … in a situation when I needed him the most.”
Jones, who will face Cormier in a rematch at UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, was able to come to terms for the fight without having to deal with White. As of now, “Bones” says he considers WME-IMG CEO Ari Emanuel to be in charge of the UFC.
“I feel like he’s shown me his true colors, and now I have no desire to pretend like he cares about me or that we’re friends,” Jones said of White.
“Unless he has something real pressing to talk to me about, I’d rather just talk to Ari Emanuel,” Jones continued. “As of now, I look at Ari as my boss and as Dana as more the face and the voice of UFC.”