On Thursday Dana White had to do something he has never done as the President of the UFC, cancel an event a week before it was to happen. Dan Henderson was suppose to fight Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones in the main event of UFC 151, but Henderson suffered a partial tear to his MCL and had to pull out of the fight. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
White and the UFC searched for other opponents for Jones including former Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen but Jones rejected that fight and the entire show was canceled. Jones, who is already having image issues after his DUI arrest with two women in his car, is now one of the biggest villains in the UFC for letting this event fall apart.
Not only did it cost the UFC, “millions and millions of dollars” according to Dana White, it also cost the undercard fighters their pay as they don’t make money unless they fight. This also cost sponsors, vendors, Mandalay Bay where the fight was scheduled, amongst other things. The biggest cost may be to Jones himself in the eyes of his boss as White is furious over having to scrap a whole show because of one man.
This is one of those selfish, disgusting decisions that just doesn’t affect you. He just affected 16 other people’s lives, families, kids going back to school. The list goes on and on, the money that was spent for these fighters to train, and everything else…Like I said, this isn’t a decision that is going to make Jon Jones popular with the fans, sponsors, cable distributors, television network executives or other fighters.
White isn’t the only one to take shots at Jones including Chael Sonnen and another middleweight not afraid to speak his mind, Michael Bisping. He had this to say to Yahoo! Sports:
Jon Jones is never, ever going to live this down. This was a massive mistake. I can’t believe this was his decision. If you have ultimate fighter on your business card, you are supposed to show up and fight. And if you are the world champion, you are supposed to have the ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ attitude. As great as Jon Jones is, and he’s a great talent who has done a lot of great things and will do a lot more great things, he’s never going to be allowed to forget this. I know myself, the fans are very passionate and have long memories. I can see it already: ‘Chicken Bones Jones! This is the UFC, not KFC!’ And the fans are right. This is a little pathetic to be blunt.
But wait! It gets better! Now since he skipped out on Sonnen, Jones was scheduled to face number one contender Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 on September 22 in Toronto. Then Machida decided not to take the fight early and then he backed out of the fight, so Vitor Belfort is moving up from Middleweight to take the bout for the Light Heavyweight title.
So that seems like everything right, WRONG! Anderson Silva, the current Middleweight Champ threw his name into the ring to try and save the show by volunteering to fight a light heavyweight not named Jon Jones, but was hours too late as the UFC had already decided to cancel the show.
What do the fight fans think, not just MMA but any combat sport, of a guy not willing to take a fight and cancelling an entire event? Did Jones have the right to protect himself or should he take on all-comers? Let us know at @DSBloggers on Twitter or on Facebook or in the comments below to tell us what you, the fans, think.