Dana White should rent a copy of "The Godfather," if only to be reminded of one of its more classic lines.
It's not personal. It's business.
White knows the B word better than anyone else. He is the main reason the Ultimate Fighting Championship has grown from a small-time mixed martial arts organization once on its deathbed to the sport's global power.
His direction. His determination. His dedication.
The guy could sell ******s gear to Bears fans ... and convince them to wear it.
But no one ever has confused White of owning any sort of filter when it comes to stating his opinion, and the UFC president on Thursday took what is considered his normal level of disparaging remarks to an even more bizarre one.
White announced the cancellation of UFC 151 on Sept. 1 at Mandalay Bay when light heavyweight champion Jon Jones refused to fight stand-in opponent Chael Sonnen on eight days' notice.
Which is Jones' right.
Which is what his trainer - Greg Jackson - advised.
Which, by the way, makes complete sense.
Which set off White: "This is one of those selfish, disgusting decisions that doesn't just affect you," he said. "I don't think this is a decision that's going to make Jon Jones very popular with fans, vendors, sponsors, cable distributors or other fighters.
"(Jackson) is a sport killer. This guy's from another planet. I've never seen anything like it in my life. He told Jon Jones taking the fight against Sonnen would be the biggest mistake of his entire career. This guy should never be interviewed by anyone ever again except for maybe a psychiatrist."
Just a guess, but I'm thinking a few doctors with couches wouldn't mind a serious crack at White.
He should be upset. This is a first. The UFC never has canceled an event. Big money is on the line. Big business.
But make no mistake - White is not used to any of his fighters dictating minor decisions, never mind such a major one, and his words and tone Thursday came off more like a spoiled child whose parents just handed down a month of restriction than one of the most successful and powerful entrepreneurs in sports history.
White is all about power, and for the first time in forever when it comes to his company, a fighter publicly usurped that of the president.
The truth: Jones made the right call.
He was scheduled to fight Dan Henderson, trained to fight Henderson, strategized to fight Henderson, lived and breathed the past few months to fight Henderson. But then Henderson suffered a knee injury.
It is a champion's right to balk at the idea of risking his belt against someone else on such short notice. It is a trainer's right, and most would argue responsibility, to protect his fighter from doing so.
Who should Jones listen to if not Jackson, the man who trains him and is with him every day leading into a fight?
Jones never has been the most popular fighter among fans during his quick ascent to the top of the light heavyweight division, and I'm not sure how much he cares if such feelings turn even more negative now.
I'm not sure he should.
Sponsors like winners, and Jones is one. Cable distributors will be fine if they believe Jones will sell pay per views. Vendors won't starve over one canceled event. It's a tough but realistic part of their profession. Fans will pay to watch in person and at home in hopes Jones loses as much as those who want him to win. But they will pay.
Those undercard fighters from Sept. 1 will receive another opportunity, be it when Jones now fights Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 on Sept. 22 in Toronto or on another card. Other fighters can be upset as they want with Jones, but all want the fame and success he has.
In other words, this is not near the catastrophe White painted Thursday.
Which is ironic, given the UFC always has been about itself and the bottom line first, which is fine. It's the company's money to spend as it sees fit, its business to run as it wishes.
Jones merely is acting in the same manner by refusing to change his game plan and fight Sonnen. He's looking out for No. 1, just like White.
If it's true the UFC has surpassed boxing in a mainstream realm - and White's company long has stated it has - how quickly do you think Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao would laugh a promoter out of the room at the suggestion of changing opponents eight days out?
What this cancellation does is bring to light another truth: The UFC for some time now has offered far too many fight cards annually, which has led to shrinking attendance in some cities and can't save cards such as UFC 151 when the main event falls through.
Fewer cards would mean events with deeper talent, which could avoid such a mess as Thursday's news brought.
Said White: "UFC 151 will be remembered as the event Jon Jones and Greg Jackson murdered."
Talk about dramatic.
He makes Michael Corleone look like Winnie the Pooh.
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If I was in Jones' shoes I'd have said "Bring me the contract and I'll bring you his head.". To me, the scenario was far in Jones' favor. - Josh Barnett
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As I said earlier, they dont make up like they used too
Diffferent era. Guys in Josh's era fought for peanuts. And most of all they fought because they loved it. MMA has changed. And while i back Jones stance he's not cut from the same cloth as old school fighters who fought on a dime.
It's like MMA has gone from the attitude of Marciano to Mayweather in about 5 years, God bless corporate sports
When guys start making big money this is what happens. Jones has many interests to look after. Dana can scoff at him all he wants. But when your backed by a major advertiser like Nike you're clearly a businessmen and someone who's doing something right.
The UFC has no problems making money out of their fighters. But then wants to berate fighters for protecting their own interests, even if that conflicts with the company's interests. When your options are soo slim its not surprising Jones is willing to play it safe. Like you rightly say its a business first that makes money out of sport.