UFC 151 will forever be remembered as the fight card that never was.
The event was cancelled when light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who was originally scheduled to headline the event with Dan Henderson, refused to accept Chael Sonnen as a last minute replacement when Henderson pulled out of the bout due to a knee injury eight days before the scheduled date.
UFC president Dana White publically chastised Jones for refusing to fight Sonnen on short notice, fellow MMA fighters ridiculed him for “not acting like a true champion,” while some fans questioned his heart.
Most of Jones’ critics didn’t even notice the weird coincidence that Sonnen had been lashing out at the 25 year-old on Twitter weeks before Henderson pulled out of his UFC 151 commitment. A few folks (myself included) came to Jones’ defense, pointing out how staged the whole UFC 151 fiasco looked, while Sonnen vehemently denied having any prior knowledge about Henderson’s injury back then.
Now, the truth has finally come out.
During the June 9 episode of “UFC Tonight: Fight Edition,” Sonnen finally admitted that he knew about Henderson’s injury before Jones was notified while explaining his attempt to fill in for the injured Antônio Rogério Nogueira at UFC 161.
“You know, it really got put together through Little Nog’s cowardice,” Sonnen stated. “I’ve been training for Shogun for a while. I knew this was going to happen. This kind of reminds me of the time me and Dan Henderson set up Jon Jones on eight days’ notice.”
While Henderson hasn’t admitted to trying to setup Jones, it’s hard to objectively look at the situation and not sense that was indeed the case leading up to UFC 151. Heck, even the way White reacted when Jones refused to fight Sonnen validates the Portland native’s claim, as the UFC’s president behaved like a child whose masterplan had just been foiled.