The abrupt cancellation of UFC 151: "Jones vs. Henderson" was originally laid at the feet of Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and his head trainer and coach, Greg Jackson. That was promotion President Dana White's story and he was sticking to it.
Now, he's backed off just a bit, at least on Jones. Dan Henderson became the subject of his ire thanks to the fact that he failed to notify White within a proper time frame. Had he done so, perhaps the event could have gone on with a reworked main event everyone could agree to.
Instead, Jones was given just eight days notice to accept a replacement bout against Chael Sonnen and Jackson expressly told him that if he were to accept the bout, it would be the biggest mistake of his life.
Cue the boiling pot White, who blew his lid from the pressure.
The ensuing verbal barrage was legendary and included White saying Jackson was a "sport killer" and he "murdered" UFC 151. Despite this, the New Mexico based coach remained cool and collected, chalking up White's strong words to emotions running high.
Not so much.
In his interview with UFC Tonight last night, the big boss continued his assault on Jackson, calling him a businessman and not a family man.
"He's definitely to blame, too, but there's never been a case, ever, in UFC history, where a guy didn't step up and take a fight. I had pretty good reason to be upset. I just think, the Greg Jackson stuff -- this guy -- this is my philosophy on trainers, too: You need a good trainer, a guy who's gonna be there for you, who can kinda keep you in line and keep you training and everything else, but trainers don't make fighters. Talented fighters make trainers, and that's a fact. The thing you have to understand about Greg Jackson, too, and I'll say it again -- I said it before -- this guy's a businessman. First and foremost, before anything -- this guy is a businessman. He built a business. 'We're a family.' That's what he kept telling Rashad Evans and Jon, so they wouldn't fight, because 'we're a family.' I told Rashad and Jon, 'He's not your family. Greg Jackson is not your family member, okay? If things go bad for you, tomorrow, Brother Greg isn't gonna be there for you. Is he gonna pay your bills? Is he gonna take care of your family? Your real family? No, he's not.' And, you saw, when it came down to it, when push came to shove, who did Greg Jackson pick? He picked Jon Jones, the guy that he believed would beat Rashad. That's a fact. That's a business. He's a businessman."
The reality of this situation is that White is pushing his side -- the UFC and promoting the fights fans want to see -- while Jackson is pushing his side -- his fighters performing the best they can to maximize the money they can all make.
They're both businessmen and there is absolutely nothing wrong with either side going about things the way they do.
Jackson obviously seeks to create a family environment at his gym in New Mexico but let's be real, the dude has to feed his family. He does that by tutoring the very best in MMA, like Jon Jones. If that means upsetting White by advising "Bones" not to risk a loss to Sonnen on a short notice fight, so be it.
This game of tug of war will never end.
What side are you on?