At the very moment Dana White was telling a furious conference call audience that Greg Jackson is â€śa f--king sport killerâ€ť, his target was on the phone to Mauro Ranalloâ€™s radio show on Sirius Sports in Canada, defending his advice to Jon Jones.
Whiteâ€™s ire was promoted by Jackson telling Jones that to accept Chael Sonnen as a stand-in opponent on eight days notice would be the â€śworst decision of his careerâ€ť. Sonnen had been offered after original opponent Dan Henderson was forced out of the September 1 fight with a knee ligament injury.
â€śI was asked if it was smart to take a fight on three days notice and I don't think it's smart to do that. Three days to fight a guy that caliber is not a smart thing to do. I'm not trying to ruin the sport or cancel an event. I don't know about that stuff, but thought it wasn't a wise course of action,â€ť Jackson told Ranallo.
â€śIt's a serious fight with serious ramifications. I didn't mean to cancel an event and was asked to give an opinion and I gave it.â€ť
Zuffa decided to cancel UFC 151, the first time that a UFC event has ever been cancelled. Coming on eight days notice, the company is now going to take what White terms â€śa massive financial hitâ€ť.Â
White has been joined by most fans in decrying Jones and Jackson for not taking Sonnen as a replacement opponent. But Jackson and a minority say that the fact the event had to be cancelled due to Jones not being on it means the card was maybe too thin to begin with.
â€śI didn't know they had it all riding on one fight. It's one of those things - as a trainer, I'll give you my opinion. I'm not a yes man, I do what's best for my guy. I'm surprised by the veracity of [Whiteâ€™s] response but that's my opinion. In this case, it's a world title fight in the best sport in the world on three days notice. This isn't backyard brawling, it's a professional sport,â€ť Jackson says.
White is unlikely to be moved. He practically roared at conference call listeners as he described Jackson as â€śa weirdoâ€ť and said the two-time Coach of the Year should never be interviewed again â€śby anybody except a psychiatristâ€ť.