Jon Jones has finally broken cover and spoken candidly to Ariel Helwani about his decision to refuse a fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 and the backlash he received when the entire event was canceled as a result.

Key Quotes:

On his decision to turn down the short-notice fight with Sonnen:

“Chael Sonnen is a southpaw, has different takedowns, different subs, different ground and pound, he’s just a completely different warrior [compared to Dan Henderson]. Taking the fight [at short notice] would be ignorant.”

“The only guy I would’ve fought on short notice is Rashad Evans because his style is so similar to Dan Henderson’s.”

“I can’t put a multi-million dollar career and title on the line because someone is talking about my momma.”

On Dana White’s Angry Reaction To His Refusal:

“I felt like a piece of meat.”

“It’s good to know where I stand with Dana White, I don’t want a fake relationship with anybody.”

“I haven’t talked to Dana White, I’ll let him calm down then talk to him. He has his reasons to be upset but I think he has to realize that I have a reason too. I thought he would be more supportive. He thinks I’m scared of Sonnen? I’m not scared, it’s about being smart.”

On Other Fighter’s Negative Reaction To His Decision:

“My job is not to be popular among fighters, I could care less if any fighter liked me or not, my job is to show up, do my job and go back home.”