ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 16: UFC President Dana White speaks with the media after a press conference promoting UFC 145: Jones v Evans at Philips Arena on February 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White made the announcement to cancel UFC 151 (which was originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 1, 2012), there was plenty of blame to go around for everyone.
It would have been easy to blame the weak card. You could have been mad at Dan Henderson for getting injured. White himself was a potential target for vitriol for the way he handled the whole affair.
But, when push came to shove, White threw two men under the bus, and, puzzlingly, it was UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones -- the man who was once sponsored by the UFC and was practically the promotion's poster boy -- and his trainer, Greg Jackson.
Indeed, when "Bones" opted not to take a replacement fight versus Chael Sonnen on eight days' notice, White was furious, and he did little to hide the fact that he was not only pissed at Jones, but also Jackson, for advising him to "just say no."
It's been a few weeks, and there's been time for cooler heads to prevail. White will appear on FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" later this evening, where he is set to tell correspondent Ariel Helwani the "real story" behind the cancellation of UFC 151. He also wants the world to know that Jones is no longer the sole target in his crosshairs, but it's not because of his overflow of mercy and grace.
It's because new information has come to light. Can you guess who it involves? I'll give you a hint: This fighter is "dangerously" close to being on White's last nerve.
Helwani started things off by telling White that he believes he may have been wrong for solely blaming Jones for the undoing of UFC 151.
Believe it or not, White actually agrees:
"I agree with that. You're right. This might be the first time I ever agree with you. I agree with you. You're absolutely right. Not just his team. There is some truth, too, to what was said after that. Dan Henderson knew, two weeks before the fight -- two weeks before he told me that he was injured -- he knew. And had he given me that two weeks, like he should have, this fight might have happened."
But he didn't, and at this point, it feels counter-productive to even try and figure out who was the real culprit behind the axing of the first event ever while Zuffa has been behind the wheel of the company.
While it's good to see White backing off some of his original venomous statements, at some point, the boss of the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world is going to have to accept a little bit of the blame himself, if he really and truly wants to save face with the fans who have helped him build his empire.
Perhaps that will be revealed during the full interview, which will appear on FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" at 10 p.m. ET, tonight (Sept. 4, 2012). Make sure to tune in to catch all of choice morsels and soundbites as the drama continues to unfold.
In the meantime, check out the teaser for the episode, right here on MMAmania.com: