UFC 151 cancelled because light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) won’t fight the replacement opponent.
Jones was scheduled to fight Dan Henderson at the Mandalay Bay Events Center next Saturday, September 1st which happens to be Labor Day weekend.
Unfortunately Henderson injured his knee, a partial tear of his MCL, and can’t fight.
UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC President Dana White were able to secure a replacement fight with Chael Sonnen.
The problem is Bones won’t fight Sonnen which has disappointed a lot of fans and angered the already explosive Dana White.
Maybe he is still mad that his drivers license has been revoked and needs to take it out on someone. Who knows.
Although I enjoy watching the fights, I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fight “guru” however there are a number of things that are troublesome about this.
First and foremost is why won’t you fight? I was under the impression that the UFC is supposed to be a “gentlemanly” sport and the fighters were not a bunch of “prima-donnas” as they are known to be, at times, in regular boxing.
You’re a fighter and you get paid to fight! Period!
Not to mention all the people you are putting out of work and all the other smaller fighters who were scheduled to fight on the card have now lost their opportunity and their paycheck because Bones doesn’t want to fight to his replacement opponent.
What about the lost revenue that Las Vegas will undoubtedly suffer?
Doesn’t seem very gentlemanly to me.
Personally, I am surprised that there is not some type of clause in the fighters contract stating that they have to fight.
Maybe the UFC felt they didn’t need it because they have never had this issue before.
I spoke to a few trusted friends who happen to be ardent MMA and UFC fans, one has even judged a few events, to get their opinions.
One person told me that he knows it can be difficult to find a replacement on such short notice and that Channen, in his opinion, is less skilled than Henderson.
He went onto speculate that if Bones fought Channen and lost, the rematch would be HUGE.
He also said that some fighters perhaps get a bit lazy and don’t want to fight someone out of the “specialty”and unnecessarily tarnish their record
He also compared it to “regular” boxing where there are so many variables and demands and said that the UFC has been proud to not be part of that type of behavior – – – obviously that is changing.
Dana White, UFC President, was not too happy about the cancellation, the first time in 11 years since he has been in charge, and he was furious at both Jones and his trainer, Greg Jackson. White said,
We’ve never, ever had a fighter refuse to fight somebody, especially a fighter who is a world champion as well as one of the top pound-for-pound guys in the world. It’s baffling to me, and I’ve never seen it before.
White also said,
This is probably one of my all-time lows. The one thing that I never thought in a million years would ever happen — it happened.
He even went to say that Jones decision is “selfish” and “disgusting.”
Jones was then scheduled to face Lyota “the Dragon” Machida at UFC 152 on September 22 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
But wait, there was more primadonna behavior. Machida allegedly made a simple request to provide him a minimum of four full weeks of training, and he can be ready again to fight Jones.
I guess that deadline was missed by a few days so Machida declined and now the matchup will be Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfourt (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC).
MMA Junkie reports that Belfort hasn’t fought at light heavyweight since 2007, when he won the now-defunct Cage Rage championship following a stint in PRIDE Fighting Championships.
He won the UFC title at UFC 46 when he beat Randy Couture by first-round TKO via a cut. He lost the belt seven months later in a rematch with Couture.
Since he doesn’t seem to be a primadonna, let’s hope Belfourt does well.