Dana White says UFC still needs Jon Jones

Jon Jones reacts on the scale during a weigh-in for UFC 197, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Las Vegas. Jones is scheduled to fight Ovince Saint Preux in an interim light heavyweight title bout Saturday in Las Vegas.(AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

Jon Jones is expected to make his return at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif., in a match against Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight title. On Monday, UFC president Dana White said he believes UFC still needs him after his one-year suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was lifted last week.

“Do we need Jon Jones? Yeah, I think we do need Jon Jones,” White said on Fox Sports’ “Speak for Yourself.” “Jon Jones is possibly one of the greatest ever and personally, as a fight fan, I want Jon Jones. I want to see Jon Jones continue his legacy.” 

White also went on to note that he thinks the business side of UFC will be OK without Jones and that the two haven’t spoken since he was forced to pull out of UFC 200 last July due to a positive drug test just days before the event.

Jones last fought on April 23 last year at UFC 197, winning the interim light heavyweight championship over Ovince Saint Preux. However, Jones was stripped of the title and officially suspended for a year by USADA last November. He was previously stripped of the undisputed light heavyweight championship in May 2015 due to a hit-and-run incident.

Despite the controversy, White believes fans will be able to forgive Jones.

“I think that the public is very forgiving if you come back and you redeem yourself and you do the right things,” White said. “I do think it’s possible for Jon Jones, too. The question is, can Jon Jone overcome his demons and can he come back and be the talent that he was? Many people are calling him possibly the greatest talent to ever step foot in the Octagon.”

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