UFC president Dana White was out of sight when Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier had their infamous scuffle following Ultimate Media Day earlier this month.
Now, even with the bout rescheduled until 2015 due to surgery for the UFC light heavyweight champion, White is still answering questions about the ordeal.
Jones and Cormier will now meet in January at UFC 182, and several media events will likely be scheduled to promote the fight before that. So, how will the UFC avoid another incident?
“You want my personal opinion? Our bad. It’s our bad,” said White this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 47 (thanks to MMAjunkie.com for the quotes). “These guys are fighters. They’re two of the baddest dudes on the planet. They’re going to face-to-face stare off.
“We have to make sure that doesn’t happen and shouldn’t happen, but it did.”
White doesn’t see a reason to get rid of the typical face-offs that come with press events and weigh-ins, as he says they are one of his “favorite things” about the sport.
“Two of my favorite things in the sport (are) the weigh-ins and the fight,” he said. “At the weigh-ins, guys have been away from their families for eight weeks or longer. They’re cutting weight, fight’s the next day.
“They’re nasty, they’re mean, they’re irritable and it’s explosive and anything can happen. Then the day of the fight is the reason we all watch.”
During an interview with Jones and Cormier on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” a live microphone and camera caught the two in a heated verbal battle. However, White said that is also typical – in fact, there is even more footage that did not get released.
“Every time you do those transmissions, those transmissions out there, they go to tons of media and they’re jumping from station to station,” he explained. “Somebody was on there actually filming when they were talking. You think that’s bad? You should see the other stuff we have that they were saying to each other that people didn’t get. It was pretty nasty.”
UFC Fight Night 47 went down Saturday evening from Bangor, Maine and aired on FOX Sports 1 and 2.
In the main event, Ryan Bader scored a decision victory over Ovince St. Preux. Ross Pearson, Tim Boetsch, Alan Jouban and others all picked up victories, as well, and you can see highlights from several of the fights in the videos below.
Along with fight highlights, interviews with UFC president Dana White, Bader and a replay of the post-fight press conference can be viewed in the following players:
For former Ultimate Fighter winner Ross Pearson, Saturday’s TKO victory over Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 47 helped take the sour taste out of his mouth.
In Pearson’s last fight, he was left on the wrong end of a decision loss to Diego Sanchez that was hotly disputed. The UFC moved on as if Pearson had won, but the Brit made sure no judges would mess up this time.
“I want anybody in the Top-10 next,” Pearson said. “Anybody inside there. My time is now.”
After an opening round of back-and-forth action, it was Pearson who stunned the former No. 1 contender with a right-hand. He followed up with another that dropped Maynard, earning the second round TKO win.
For Pearson (16-7), it was his first official win since a 2013 second round stoppage over Ryan Couture. He is 3-1 with one no-contest since returning to the division.
“Gray is a great competitor who’s been around a long time and had title fights, had big fights,” Pearson said. “That is where I want to go.”
After winning the title on TUF in 2009, Pearson went on two earn wins over Aaron Riley and Dennis Siver. But, he decided to move to featherweight folowing a split decision defeat to Edson Barboza in 2011. That run lasted just two fights, as Pearson moved back to 155 pounds and dominated George Sotiropoulos.
For Maynard, who once challenged Frankie Edgar for the title and fought him to a draw, the loss was his third straight – all via finish. His other career defeat, also to Edgar, came by knockout.
UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has been the co-main event for the last two Chris Weidman middleweight title fights. Now, “Rowdy” is hoping to score a spot with Jon Jones.
After an injury to Jones – the light heavyweight champion – pushed back his scheduled title defense vs. Daniel Cormier from September to January, Rousey made it known she is also targeting that time for a return.
“I’d love to be on the New Year’s card again,” said Rousey, during an appearance on UFC Tonight. “Everything that’s happened with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, I’d love to share a card with them.”
Rousey scored a 16-second knockout of Alexis Davis last month in the co-main event of Weidman-Lyoto Machida on the Fourth of July weekend event. She was also on the year-end card in 2013 opposite Weidman-Anderson Silva.
Currently, along with preparing to generate interest with media stops for her role in “The Expendables 3,” Rousey is rehabbing from knee surgery.
“This is my fourth knee surgery,” she said, “and my third scope. It’s going to be scary when I come back because I’ve been operating on one leg for several years now. When I’m 100-percent, I feel sorry for people.
“No, I don’t ever feel sorry for people.”
Rumors continue to float around that the UFC will sign Gina Carano to meet Rousey, as that is the fight she wants the most. If not, she’s ready for anyone else willing to sign on the dotted line.
“Gina Carano was the first fight I ever saw,” Rousey said. “I’d love to measure myself against her. Also Holly Holm, and I’m excited for Cat Zingano.
“I’m looking forward to all of them. I’d love to fight (Cris) Cyborg right now.”
UFC president Dana White returned from a vacation and immediately jumped into the fire, talking to UFC.com about the current state of affairs in his promotion.
Of course, the pressing news concerns Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson. Originally, Jones and Gustafsson were set to meet in September, but a training injury knocked “The Mauler” out.
Cormier was given the spot and accepted, and a whirl-wind media tour ensued. However, the UFC light heavyweight champion went down with an injury of his own recently and the bout has been shelved until the new year.
That didn’t sit too well with Gustafsson, but White isn’t giving in.
“Gustafsson is upset, but it’s not like we took Gustafsson out of the fight. Gustafsson got hurt and he’s out,” White said. “Cormier stepped in and accepted the fight and this is the fight that is going to happen now.
“The reality is we had Gustafsson versus Jones, he was the number one contender, that was the fight. He got hurt,” White said. “He fell out of the fight. Well, people can say, ‘Now Jones is hurt.’ Well yeah, but this is the fight that’s happening now.”
While the Swede has stated through his manager that he will not take another fight before competing for the belt, White said he will “probably fight again” before.
“He’ll probably have to stay active, stay top of mind and hte guy has to make money,” White added, even saying that Anthony Johnson would make sense as an opponent.