As UFC 152 is just one day away, everything seems to be fine in the landscape of the UFC.
Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who had taken much of the fall for the cancellation of UFC 151 in August, has forgiven UFC President Dana White after White’s comments of Jones and Greg Jackson “murdering UFC 151.”
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Jones talked about burying the hatchet with the UFC without even expecting an apology from the UFC president.
“I believe that this whole situation is going to bring me and the UFC even closer. I think we’re going to have a better level of respect for each other. I think it’s going to be healthy for fighters in the future to know their rights, and a lot of positives are going to happen with this. I really believe the fans are going to get over it.”
Even without the meeting between Jones and White, it seems like the media has taken to paint Jones more as an average guy.
And why not? After all, the controversy that surrounded the cancellation of UFC 151 has simmered and the focus can shift to Jones facing Vitor Belfort, who could have used UFC 151’s cancellation to build up the fight, but instead decided to focus on training and preparing for the champion.
The only people who may still have a bitter taste in their mouths would be the fans, who will obviously let Jones know their feelings by either booing him or cheering Belfort.
The spat between Jones and White isn’t the only fire that has seemingly been put out this week.
Middleweight Michael Bisping and flyweight Joseph Benavidez, who seemed to be in the midst of a Twitter war, were all smiles at the pre-event press conference.
“The strangling has already taken place. We have photographic evidence on Joseph’s phone. I strangled him. We’ve settled our differences.”
It’s good that Benavidez and Bisping have settled their issue, as both men have important fights on Saturday night.
Benavidez will be looking to make history by becoming UFC’s first Flyweight champion when he faces Demetrious Johnson.
Bisping faces Brian Stann in what he hopes could launch him into a title shot with middleweight champ Anderson Silva.
One trend that makes MMA, as well as other combat sports, intriguing is that personal issues that flare up eventually fade away.
Prior to the middleweight title fight at UFC 148, Silva and Chael Sonnen’s feud reached the point to where Silva shoulder checked Sonnen at the weigh ins. After the fight was over and Silva had won, he invited his rival over to his house for a barbecue.
“The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had a heated rivalry during the days of Pride that spilled over into the UFC. After Jackson knocked out The Axe Murderer at UFC 92, the two men shake hands.
Rivalries aren’t just limited to the fighters themselves. In addition to Jones, UFC champions like Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz and Josh Barnett have feuded with the UFC president in the past.
However Couture and Ortiz were able to mend fences with White and finish their careers in the UFC. Barnett reconciled with White shortly after Zuffa had bought Strikeforce.
Do all rivalries end up with the fighters being best friends? Not necessarily, but for the most part there is mutual respect between the two fighters.