The MMA world was dealt a painful blow last week when UFC light heavyweight champion Jones was forced out of his anticipated UFC 178 main event showdown with Daniel Cormier.
Jones required surgery for a torn meniscus, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time, as the fighters’ highly publicized UFC 178 Media Day brawl had the bad blood reaching a fever pitch. The trash talk was taken to an even all-new level when Jones went as far as to threaten Cormier’s life during a “hot mic” session that was supposedly off the record.
UFC President Dana White knew exactly what was going on there, however, describing the details to the media at last night’s (Sat., August 16, 2014) UFC Fight Night 47 post-fight press conference from Bangor, Maine (via MMA Junkie):
“I know how the clip got out there,” White said. “Every time you do those transmissions, those transmissions out there, they go to tons of media and they’re jumping from station to station. Somebody was on there actually filming when they were talking.”
Jones and “DC’s” smack talk was brutal, but White said there were other audio clips that would have put that controversial moment to shame:
“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.”
At the end of the day, White knows the UFC was responsible for the brawl. Absent on vacation, he believes that it would have played out differently if he were there, so he’s willing to accept responsibility for the promotion:
“You want my personal opinion? Our bad. It’s our bad. These guys are fighters. They’re two of the baddest dudes on the planet. They’re going face-to-face to stare off. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen and shouldn’t happen, but it did.”
With the heated bout postponed until UFC 182 on January 3, 2015, the hype may cool for Jones vs. Cormier for the time being. Regardless of who was at fault, the brawl undoubtedly lent a ton of media attention to the fight.
Will it retain the fervent interest that the brawl stirred when it actually goes down early next year? Only time will tell.