Over the last couple of weeks Jon Jones has come under fire for not yet signing to fight Alexander Gustafsson. Some have called Jones a coward while others speculated that he was negotiating his expired contract with the UFC, which Dana White clarified wasn't the case, stating that Jones still has several fights left in his contract.
The issue turned out to be Jones wanting to face undefeated Daniel Cormier next. Cormier recently submitted veteran Dan Henderson in a one-sided bout that showcased Cormier's elite wrestling ability. Cormier wasted no time and called out Jones during the post-fight interview.
He sounded very convincing, speaking like the guy who truly had Jon Jones's number. Cormier's beat down of Hendo cemented his status as a premiere light heavyweight who's as deserving of a title shot as any other fighter, Alexander Gustafsson included. Jon Jones agrees, partly because Cormier has gotten under his skin.
Dana White's response? Gustafsson's next.
Gustafsson made his name by giving Jones the toughest fight of his career last September. Jones walked away with the decision that many observers felt belonged to Gustafsson.
Jones and Gustafsson took a one-fight break from each other and beat top-rated opponents earlier this year. Their rematch seemed like a no-brainer until Cormier came along and flipped Dan Henderson like a burger and tossed him around like a ragdoll.
Truth be told, Cormier is a much more intriguing match-up for Jones. It seems fairly obvious that the people want Jones to take on Cormier next. We've seen what Gustafsson can do to Jones, but we also saw Jones make adjustments and get the better of Gustafsson during the later stages of their fight.
My guess is that Gustafsson came as close to beating Jones as he ever will but will not be able to repeat his performance. Cormier's brilliant wrestling skills and his colorful personality make him very easy to sell, but the keyword could very well be, "colorful." Does Dana White prefer to have a white champion? Is that why he's insisting for Jones to fight Gustafsson next?
I'm not at all accusing Dana White of being a racist, but perhaps he thinks that the UFC, whose viewers are predominantly Caucasian, might benefit from having more white titleholders. He's got Johnny Hendrix, Chris Weidman and most recently TJ Dillashaw, who took Renan Barao's title in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history.
If Gustafsson beats Jones, half of the UFC's champions will be white. It will also be the first time since Chuck Liddell the light heavyweight division will have a white guy for a king.
If Jon Jones fights Cormier, win, lose or draw, the champ will remain black. There is only one other black champion in the UFC, and that is Demetrius Johnson.
What do you think? Does Dana White truly believe that Gustafsson is more deserving to fight Jones than Cormier is, or does he want more white champions? Worse yet, does Dana White want less black champions?