White, Jones to (finally) meet in Toronto

Neither UFC president Dana White nor light heavyweight champion Jon Jones regrets any decision or comment he made surrounding the cancellation of UFC 151.

They have not spoken to one another since Aug. 23, when White officially called off the event. But White and Jones intend to meet next week in Toronto, where UFC 152 takes place on Sept. 22.

“One thing you know about me is that in 12 years I never take anything back,” White said Tuesday during a media call to promote UFC 152. “Jon and I haven’t seen each other yet, since that whole thing.

“We will see each other in Toronto. We need to get into a room face to face and talk. I’ve been in this business for 12 years and I’ve dealt with just about everybody you can deal with -- good guys and bad guys. And Jon Jones isn’t a bad guy.

“But I don’t take anything back. He and I will get into a room in Toronto and we’ll talk face to face.”

Jones puts his 205-pound title on the line against former champion Vitor Belfort in the UFC 152 main event, and the champ is completely focused on the task at hand. He gives very little thought to the criticism directed at him last month.

“I’m over it. I really am,” Jones said during the media call. “I’m actually getting more and more excited to talk to Dana and put this behind us.

“UFC is an awesome brand, but in this situation I had to stand up for myself. I had to do what was right. But at the same time, holding a personal beef against Dana gets me nowhere.

“He’s still my boss at the end of the day. He has every right to express how he feels. He has freedom of speech.

“I also feel the fans are kind of using their minds a little bit and realizing that it truly wasn’t my fault -- that I’m not a UFC executive.”

Jones was scheduled to fight former Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson at UFC 152 in Las Vegas. But a partially torn MCL forced Henderson to withdraw from the contest.

Chael Sonnen, Henderson’s training partner, agreed to step in, but Jones refused to fight him on eight days’ notice. UFC then cancelled the event.

“This is probably one of my all-time lows as being a president of UFC,” White said on Aug. 23. “Chael Sonnen accepted the fight with Jon Jones, so as of 8 o’clock last night we had a fight.

“But the one thing I thought wouldn’t happen, happened. Jon Jones said, 'I’m not fighting Chael Sonnen with eight days’ notice.'"

White would later have harsh words for Jones’ trainer, Greg Jackson, who advised his fighter not to accept the bout.

“How much faith do you have in your champion?” White said. “I’ll go on the record and say it: ‘This guy is a sport killer. This guy is from another planet. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.’

“UFC 151 will be remembered as the event Jon Jones and Greg Jackson murdered.”