The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, was getting ready to defend his title against Dan Henderson at UFC 151, but the entire fight card has now been cancelled.
Henderson injured his knee while training, forcing the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion to pull out of the fight.
Even though the UFC 151 fight card was only eight days away, Chael Sonnen, was willing to step up and replace the injured Henderson. Unfortunately for the promotion, Jon Jones wasn’t really interested in the matchup, prompting UFC president Dana White to verbally lash out at the youngest champion in the promotion’s history.
“Chael’s been out there talking all this crazy [expletive] about Jones, but he proved that he not only talks the talk, he walks the walk,” White said during a conference call. “I offered the fight to a couple of guys, and believe me when I tell you; nobody wants to fight Jon Jones on [short] notice. Nobody. But when I called Chael, that crazy [expletive] said, ‘Not only will I fight him, but I’ll get on a plane and fight him at Mandalay Bay tonight, if that’s what you want.'”
Ever since Sonnen announced his decision to move up to the light-heavyweight division, the “American Gangster” has been working his way towards a title shot against Jones. I recently wrote an article stating that I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC decided to give Sonnen a shot at the title, if he emerged victorious in his UFC 155 fight against Forrest Griffin. But White shut the idea down during a recent interview.
“He’s a long way away [from a title shot],” White said during an interview with ‘The Dave and Mahoney’ morning show. “He’s not coming off the [Anderson] Silva fight and just talking his way into a 205-pound world title shot.”
Apparently, White has had a change of heart.
Even though I understand why the UFC would try to save the Sept. 1 fight card, White’s behavior has been extremely unprofessional. Questioning Jones’ heart because he refused to accept a fight on short-notice is childish, and it doesn’t make any sense for the UFC to tarnish the image of a guy many believe is the future of the sport.
Given the fact “Bones” has never backed down from a fight in the past, I have to respect his decision not to fight Sonnen on eight days notice. He signed a contract to fight Henderson at UFC 151, and it’s not his fault “Hendo” wasn’t able to fulfill his obligations.
With the UFC 151 fight card cancelled, Jones will now take on Lyoto Machida on Sept. 22. The date was reserved for UFC 152, but the fight card will now be renamed UFC 151.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.