UFC light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, isn’t exactly the most liked fighter on the promotion’s roster, and his decision to turn down Chael Sonnen as a possible replacement for the injured Dan Henderson at UFC 151 didn’t earn him any new fans.
However, even with the intense backlash he’s received from MMA fans and media alike, Jones insists refusing to fight Sonnen was the best option for him.
“I take a lot of pride in the way I perform, and I want to put on the best performance possible every time I fight,” Jon Jones said during a conversation with MMAJunkie.com. “I don’t want to go out there just to win the fight. I want to go out there to dominate. I want to make it look effortless. I want it to be a beautiful thing.”
Jones also apologized to all those affected by the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s brass’ decision to cancel the entire UFC 151 card.
Many seem to think Sonnen and Henderson have similar styles, but that really isn’t the case. Sonnen is a lot more aggressive with his takedowns, and he’s also better at keeping his opponents on their backs. When you add the fact that Sonnen is a southpaw, while Henderson fights from an orthodox stance, it’s easy to understand why Jones didn’t think it was in his best interest to take the fight on very short notice.
Yet, with Jones’ decision not to fight Sonnen on Sept. 1, many are now questioning his heart. “Bones” made it clear that fear was not a factor in his decision, and he doesn’t have any problems squaring up against Sonnen in the near future.
“Dan Henderson got hurt, and our fight was canceled,” Jones added. “As difficult as it is to deal with everything that’s happened, I just didn’t feel like I had enough time to prepare both physically and mentally for a fight with a new opponent. I just didn’t feel I had enough time to prepare properly and perform at my best. Whether Chael Sonnen actually deserves a title shot really isn’t my place to say. But if he wants to fight on Sept. 22, then I’m fine with that.”
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.