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.’”
“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.”
“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)