Most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans were anxiously waiting to hear about the outcome of the meeting between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White and his suddenly embattled Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.
White summoned "Bones" to UFC headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday (May 23, 2012) to talk about his recent arrest for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Binghamton, N.Y., which resulted in the 24-year-old crashing his 2012 Bentley Continental GT into a utility pole.
However, when White no-showed the UFC 146 pre-fight press conference earlier this afternoon (watch the full video here), it seemed as though fight fans would have to wait until after the pay-per-view (PPV) event on May 26, 2012, had concluded to get the skinny. Well, that's not the case because MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani tracked down White this evening to get the scoop on their recent conversation.
Unfortunately, White didn't divulge too much other than to confirm that Jones is still scheduled to fight Dan Henderson in the UFC 151 main event on Sept. 1, 2012. While comparing Jones to UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, White did indicate that Jones has the opportunity to turn this experience into a positive "lesson learned."
Check it out:
"I don't know all the facts as far as legally what is going on with him. I talked to Jon and, Jon is a good guy. He's a good kid. That's what everybody has to remember. When everyone is putting this pressure on this kid -- is he the pound-for-pound best in the world … no, not yet. There is so much more that I think, in my opinion, that goes along with being the pound-for-pound best on the world. Anderson Silva has proved it a zillion times over…. No matter how much money he makes, he's always the same…. Anderson is a professional, he's a martial artist, he's beat everybody who has been thrown at him, he's been a champion almost the entire time he's been with the UFC. We're going to find out now what happens with Jon Jones. Obviously, the legal side of it, I have no idea what is going on with that. Him and his people are handling that. I think that in the conversations that I've had with him, this is going to end up being a positive thing for him. If he handles this thing the right way, I think he will [learn his lesson]."
In other words, Jones is super talented, but still too young to be compared to an all-around "professional" like the "Spider." Wreaking havoc inside the cage, at least to White, by itself is not indicative of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
To earn that honor a fighter has to not wreak havoc outside the Octagon, too.
Expect to hear more from White, as well as Jones, on the DWI situation in the days and weeks ahead. In fact, Jones has an arraignment hearing set for next Tuesday (May 29, 2012), during which he is expected to agree to a plea deal that will keep him out of the klink and inside the cage for the foreseeable future.
Feel free to catch up on all the latest Jones DWI-related news and notes right here.