In the days leading up to UFC 200, the UFC’s biggest fight card of all time, President Dana White held an impromptu press conference to announce the USADA had pulled interim UFC Light Heavyweight Jon Jones from the main event unification bout against Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier for an anti-doping violation. White dropped some new developments in Jones’ case on Tuesday on The Jim Rome Show.
“It’s coming back now that it looks like that he did not take the supplement that everybody thought he took, and we will see how this thing plays out,” White said.
White made sure to tread lightly while he elaborated on Jones’ situation.
“I don’t even know if this is public. I don’t know if I can talk about it. It’s not looking,” White said before pausing. “Normally I talk about anything, but when it comes to medical stuff you can’t do it, but it’s looking like Jon Jones did not do, take the drug that everybody thought he took. It looks like it’s something else. So I’ll let this thing play out, and that if that’s true and that’s what USADA and the Nevada State Athletic Commission says happened, it could look good for Jon Jones.”
However, White said the backlash Jones received after being pulled wasn’t entirely unfair because the 29-year-old wasn’t exactly honest with USADA and made it clear that every athlete is responsible for what they put in their body.
“He definitely didn’t get a bum rap,” White said. “But it wasn’t what, it wasn’t what… the substance that he was on, is a pill that you take when you’re coming down off of steroids, but this thing is apparently in other things Jon took, something else. Where he doesn’t come off clean is you have to tell USADA everything that you put in your body leading up to the fight and he did not.”
As for UFC 202 this weekend, the president couldn’t hide his excitement for the highly anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, where the 145-pound featherweight champion Irishmen will challenge Diaz at 170 pounds again.
“When you are a fight fan, you are always wondering, on paper fights looks good and will the fight look good. This fight is impossible not to be good, the first fight was awesome,” White said. “Just these guys’ fighting styles, the whole weight difference things, their demeanors. I’m very excited.”
After McGregor’s loss to Diaz at UFC 196 in March, White says he and former owner Lorenzo Fertitia tried to talk the featherweight champion out of another fight with Diaz, but he wouldn’t have it.
“I didn’t love it. I didn’t love it. Either did Lorenzo,” White laughed. “We tried to talk him out of it. But it’s one of the things about Conor McGregor that makes this guy so fun for fight fans.
“In boxing, guys absolutely avoid the fights that they think are tough. They avoid the fights that they think they can lose. Conor McGregor is the guy who is at the top. He’s making tons of money, super famous. Every time this guy fights, he puts all the chips on the table. He doesn’t care, he wants to test himself. These are the guys that are fun to watch.”
Regardless of Saturday’s results, White said McGregor’s next fight will be a title fight at featherweight against former champion Jose Aldo.
“That’s the plan. The plan is [if] he beats Nate Diaz, he goes back to 145. He loses to Nate Diaz, he goes back to 145. That’s what we are looking at,” White said.