UFC President Dana White appeared on Fox Sports 1 America’s Pre Game yesterday to address all of the questions that comes hot off the heels of UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones testing positive for Cocaine before his fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.
Down below are highlights from his interview.
[adinserter block=”1″]“I was shocked, said White. Obviously, and this is one of those situations where it’s so different than if a guy gets busted for performance-enhancing drugs. You worry about the person first, you know? You forget about the fighting and the work side of it. You worry about the person, Jon Jones as a person. He got checked into rehab, they’re going to evaluate him and then we’ll go from there.”
White was asked why the UFC didn’t postpone or cancel the fight after learning about the test results?
“What happened was, so they do these tests leading up to a fight, these random drug tests, and he tested positive. No, (there was no talk of postponing the fight) because No. 1, he was healthy. No. 2, the reason you would stop a fight and the hammer would drop on a guy would be if he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.”
While gave some interesting news that Jones opponent at UFC 182, Daniel Cormier was not informed that Jones had tested positive before the fight.
“He was not (informed of the failed test) because he didn’t need to be. If he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, everything would have got shut down. The other thing people have to understand about this situation is Jon Jones was contracted to fight. We have a contract with him. Everybody thinks that we can just say, ‘Hey, the fight’s off. The fight’s not happening.’ Damn right he had the right to fight.”
Dana White continued to say that it is not about the UFC, the title or future plans for Jones. It is all about Jones getting help then the promotion worry about the future.
White stated repeatedly that he plans on talking to Jones soon.
“I talked to him yesterday before he went in, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to talk to him tonight. He was in a good place going in there and I’m sure he’s in an even better place today. I look forward to talking to him today.”
White defended the promotion by saying that street drugs (cocaine) does not help a fighter, but hurts them. Thus the reason the fight was not cancelled. However, if Jones tested positive for performance enhancing drugs then the fight would be stopped right away.
“If you look at how shocked everybody was by this, nothing you saw in Jon Jones leading up to that fight would make you think that he used drugs. In a situation like this the last thing you worry about is his image right now. You worry about getting the guy healthy, he’ll come back, and whether you like him or you don’t like him, he’s the baddest dude in the world. He’s the pound-for-pound best guy in the world.
What’s even crazier is you do these tests to look for performance-enhancing drugs, the stuff he was doing, it hurts you. It doesn’t help you in any way, it actually hurts you. So imagine how good this guy’s going to be when he gets straight. Everything happens for a reason. It’s a great thing this happened. It’s a great thing this guy made a mistake. Who would have known? We would never know. We’ll get him the help that he needs.”
[adinserter block=”2″]While I understand that UFC 182 would do huge business for the promotion, White cannot say that they are only concerned about the health of Jones right now. If so, why did you let him fight? Why not get him help in the first place. If he was already using the drug, wouldn’t have been better if he was clean a month ago. Jones could have overdosed and died. Can you imagine the backlash against a promotion like the UFC? While I enjoyed the fight, and the media coverage that came with it, you can’t argue that the person Jon Jones is more important right now because you already put business before his personal welfare.