The UFC Seasonal Press Conference is taking place from Atlanta, Georgia, right now. It just is without its most high-profile attendee.
Fans present were disappointed to find that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was absent from the event due to illness. Ariel Helwani reported ‘Bones’ would not attend right before the event was scheduled to begin:
Not surprisingly, the first question of the presser was about Jones. White gave a brief update of Jones’ status, citing the nearby Holly Holm, his teammate. The UFC President said he had food poisoning (or something):
“Jon Jones is here. He’s just sick. He’s in his room, he’s sick. And, uh, I know none of us
Pressed about the legitimacy of his illness, White then made light of the situation by playing to Holm’s perceived clean-cut image:
“Come on, would Holly Holm lie? (laughing)”
Jones’ upcoming opponent at July 6’s UFC 239, rising light heavyweight Thiago Santos, was not so playful. He shrugged off Jones’ absence and said he was here, which was actually important:
“I don’t know. Whatever. I’m here, this is more important.”
The event moved forward without two of its most famous names in Jones and to a lesser extent Masvidal. The UFC has a packed slate of high-profile events scheduled for the spring and summer, so Jones missing out on one press conference isn’t going to derail that hype.