MANILA, Philippines – Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones said he is ready to let bygones be bygones in his rift with UFC president Dana White.
Jones’ relationship with White went sour after he turned down the offer to fight Chael Sonnen on 8 days’ notice.
"Dana White's awesome. You know, I've said before, Dana White is a passionate guy. When he's upset with you, he's going to be passionate. I forgive Dana White for any insults he might have given me. I'm looking forward to talking to him and just moving forward,” said Jones in Yahoo! Sports.
His refusal to fight led to the cancellation of UFC 151, which reportedly cost the MMA outfit at least $20 million.
Jones maintained that he was not informed that his refusal would lead to the cancellation of the whole fight card.
But he explained that as a fighter, it is important for him to come in prepared.
"I ultimately believe being prepared leads to making the fight look easy. You do your homework, you pass tests. It's as simple as that. To go back to the Chael Sonnen situation, I wouldn't have been able to do my homework and it wouldn't have been a smart decision," said Jones.
Jones was offered the Sonnen fight when his original opponent, Dan Henderson sustained an injury during training.
"Being the champion, it means more to me than any fan," Jones said. "It means more to me than it means to Dana White. If I would have somehow lost that fight, Dana wouldn't have lost a night of sleep over it. Life would have gone on.”
Stepping in as a replacement is Brazilian superstar Vitor Belfort, whom he’ll fight on Saturday’s UFC 152 in Canada.
White earlier said he will have a man-to-man talk with Jones after the bout to clear things out with the UFC champion.
“Jones and I will sit down in a room, face to face, man to man and clear this thing out. I don't wanna fight Jones, but we gotta work this thing out,” said White.