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Jones refuses to fight Sonnen, UFC 151 cancelled

It’s official: not only was the Jon Jones vs Dan Henderson fight killed due to a Hendo MCL tear, the entire UFC 151 card has been cancelled. It’s the first time in Zuffa’s 11 years of owning the UFC that they’ve had to scrap an entire card, but considering the remaining fights were UFC on FUEL level it seems like the only decision the UFC could make.

It didn’t have to be like this, though. Chael Sonnen was ready and willing to step in last second and face Jon Jones, but Jones refused the fight. That led us to today’s 2pm press conference announcement from Dana White, which can be summed up as “UFC 151 is cancelled because Jon Jones is a bitch. And Greg Jackson too.” Here’s quotes n notes from the call:


“Dan Henderson has a partial tear in his MCL and couldn’t continue. He tried to train and continue to work out. He saw doctors, and there was nothing we could do to save the fight. For the first time in 11 years, we’re going to cancel an event,” said White. “Chael Sonnen accepted the fight and wanted the fight bad. As of [8 or 9 p.m.] last night, we had a fight. We started making commercials. The one thing I never thought would happen happened. Jon Jones said, ‘I’m not fighting Chael Sonnen on eight days’ notice.’”

MMA Fighting:

“It’s major, major deal,” said White. “We lose [expletive] of money, money that’s already been spent. We’re eight days out. We’ve spent [expletive] of money on this fight. How long, how far it goes and how bad it hurts. I don’t know because it’s the first time we’ve done it.”

The Toronto Sun:

“When (Jones) and I talked, he said, ‘I have to sit down and talk to my coaches,'” White began. “His coach, Greg Jackson, says, ‘There’s no way you’re taking this fight. You don’t take this fight on eight-days notice. If you take this fight, it would be the biggest mistake of your entire career.’

“Wow. Chael Sonnen is a 185-pounder, who wants to move up to 205. He hasn’t trained a day for this fight and the fight’s in eight days and yet he says he will fly here tonight to fight the supposed pound-for-pound (No. 3) fighter in the world.

“I will go on the record and say it: (Jackson) is a f—ing sport killer. This guy’s from another planet. I’ve never even seen anything like it in my life.”

White admitted that not only has Jones strained relations with the UFC, he expects some fan backlash, as well.

“He burst onto the scene a year and a half ago and he’s ripped through the top guys,” White said. “He’s been a champion that hasn’t been very popular and I don’t think this is going to do wonders for his popularity.

“As far as the relationship with us? Both me and Lorenzo (Fertitta) are disgusted.”

Well, this isn’t going to help Jones’ image in the eyes of fans. It’s going to be a rough couple of weeks for the light heavyweight champ, right up until September 22nd when he’s rescheduled to fight Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 now the new UFC 151. Or that’s Dana White’s plan, anyways. That fight hasn’t been signed, but if Jones turns it down White says he’ll pull together another emergency press call, and the implication was clear: it would be to fire Jon Jones.

(pic via Reddit)

  • drunkenjunk

    Jones is such a pussy. He couldn’t fight someone he’d probably outweigh by at least 20 lbs.
    Nice job fucking over all the other fighters on this card.

  • JoeRoganIsAnnoying


  • scissors61

    What a shitshow. Lesson here Dana, don’t put a known primadonna as the headliner on a crap undercard.

  • glassjawsh

    possibly the best pr move ever. every mma fan ever will now watch all bones fights always in the hopes that he gets hate fucked to death in the cage. especially once he moves to hw. dude just made 30 million dollars over the course of his career by turning into the greatest heel in the history of the sport. it’d be genius if it was planned.

  • Symbul

    Can’t blame Jackson. It’s his job to give his fighter the best advice he can to the fighters he coaches. It does not make sporting sense for Jones to fight Chael on (this) short notice. It makes a bunch of business sense, but Greg Jackson is not Jones’ promoter or his manager.

  • theinsaneoneJustinMcCully

    I hate when fights get canceled, but love when Dana’s pissed. I don’t know how to feel on this one. You the man Jones!

  • Letibleu

    152 stays 152. 151 becomes the lost card in the history books.

  • Letibleu

    this was a fucking watered down card except for the main. Jones might have just helped future card making.

  • voice of reason

    As i mentioned in numerous posts,


    Ok serious now

    he’s very selfish, he’ll do anything (hit and run, lay n pray, run n run) to try to win, and he doesn’t care about anything else. sometimes u gotta ‘help out’….tons of fighters did it, franklin, bisping, even fucking tito. When was the last time jackson’s team stepped in?

    Funny thing is jones will probably beat sonnen and further cement his status.


  • fightlinkerReader

    I don’t know why Jones/Jackson doesn’t take this match. Jones matches up very well against Sonnen. I doubt Sonnen can’t over power Jones, and without that ability, he’s has no offense.

    That being said, there is something distasteful in the way Dana announced this. He’s trying to lather up a mob hatred of Greg Jackson. He’s trying to blame it all on the Jackson camp. Dana deserves some blame too. Certainly there wouldn’t be a cancellation had there been stronger fights on the main card. There has to be a better approach.

  • noiseless

    even if it took his knee, hendo kinda did expose him there.

  • TheButtStrangler

    for zuffa spreading themselves too thin too far ahead with bad match making!

    As if its Jones responsibility to reward another dana twitter buddy with a title shot at his expense!

    Instead of making it worth a champions,
    and indeed the audiences time and effort with an arguably legitimate matchup!

    Boo fucking hoo!

  • TheButtStrangler

    “Jones matches up very well against Sonnen.”

    Jones would kick the shit out of Sonnen,
    but why reward Sonnens twitter skills?!

    Why should Sonnen get a to fight Jones before shmilva?

  • Nachtfalter

    Whoever in the Bones camp made the decision to turn down the fight is obviously a moron. Jones would have destroyed that clown. I mean, all my dislike aside, Sonnen has (tiny) balls of steel for offering to fight Jon Jones on a week’s notice. But still, Chael doesn’t have a chance in hell against what is essentially a taller version of Anderson Silva with infinitely better takedown defense. Stupid, stupid decision to pass up such an easy victory against a name opponent.

  • fightlinkerReader

    “Stupid, stupid decision to pass up such an easy victory against a name opponent.”

    Stupid decision also because it pisses of Dana, the boss who blatantly and unapologeticly plays favorites, carries out vendettas, rewards/ruins fighters based on loyalty/disloyalty. Far better for Jon to lose (obviously that would not have happened) and be in Dana’s good side than to refuse to fight and be in Dana’s dog house.

    Jon Jones may not know any better. He is young. Greg Jackson is supposed to be smart. How could he give his fighter such poor advice? Does he have such a narrow win-the-fight perspective that he can’t see whole perspective?

  • TheButtStrangler

    “Far better for Jon to lose (obviously that would not have happened) and be in Dana’s good side…”

    I agree with you here bud,
    in theory!

    But the first time that I recognized that bending over backwards to do dana/zuffa a flave earns you squat!

    Was when Cab took AA at the last second,
    lost and got released!

    Cab never went on to much more after that.

    But we’ll never know how much of that was to blame on being royally screwed!

    And he wouldn’t be the last one.