The Dan Henderson vs. Jon Jones fight will have to wait. A blown knee in training will sideline Dan Henderson indefinitely, leaving Jones fight-less. What is the UFC to do with a show without a main-event? Well cancel it of course.
The UFC made history today by cancelling the event outright. I can’t recall the UFC ever cancelling a big pay per view event with two week’s notice. Dana White said it was the first time in UFC history that they are cancelling an event. White confirmed that Henderson has a tear in his knee and is unavailable.
White confirmed to reporters that Chael Sonnen accepted the fight with Jon Jones on eight days notice. White told reporters that Sonnen offered to sign for the fight immediately and the UFC started creating promotion behind the fight. White said that the one thing he never thought would happen in million years happened and that was Jon Jones turning down the fight. To say that White is aggravated with Jones would be the understatement of the year.
Jones will instead fight Lyoto Machida…obviously not at UFC 151. Jones vs. Machida has been signed for September 22 at UFC 152 which is now UFC 151. I have to give Machida a lot of credit. Taking the fight on short notice is a big risk for a guy that will probably have to wait a long time for another UFC title shot. Even though the fight is a few weeks away, it still leaves Machida without a full camp. I am surprised to say the least but I give Machida a lot of credit for taking the fight.
“30 min to cement your legacy. Champ or Coward? I make a lot more than you do… Show up in 8 days I’ll give you my purse.” – https://twitter.com/sonnench/status/238692448925270017
White indicated that Machida was unavailable to make a deal for the UFC 151 fight. White said that Machida was flying in the air when they were scrambling around to make a deal. White said that he doesn’t hold this against Machida.
White also said that Jones told him that his trainer Greg Jackson told him to absolutely not take the fight on eight days notice. White called Jackson a “f*cking sport killer.” White said that Jackson told Jones that taking the fight on eight days notice would be the biggest mistake of his life. “Greg Jackson should never be interviewed by anyone ever again unless it’s by a psychiatrist.” White mocked the idea that the camp would not have enough faith in Jones to take the fight against a guy coming up from middleweight with eight days notice. White also said during the call that Jones refused to fight anyone other than Henderson on eight days notice.
Dana White called Tito Ortiz the most difficult guy to work with in the UFC yet said that Ortiz never refused to take fights. Actually, I kind of remember him refusing to fight Chuck Liddell. Anyway, White called the decision baffling and in not so many words said that Jones was the most difficult guy to work in UFC history.
White noted that Henderson is not guaranteed a title shot when he returns. White said that Henderson would get the shot if it is available, otherwise he will have to wait. White pointed to Rashad Evans getting hurt and having to take the Phil Davis fight before getting back in the title picture. There is no timetable on Henderson’s return.
White was also asked about the UFC’s current sponsorship of Jon Jones. White said that he didn’t like it but he wasn’t sure where that relationship was at the moment. I have to think that if it were up to White that there would be no UFC sponsorship of the UFC light heavyweight championship.
I had my own business interests in the event. I was about 24 hours away from closing a deal on UFC 151 ads for the website. With the event cancelled, the deal is no longer on the table. I can only imagine how the other fighters on the show feel who have a heck of a lot more lost thanks to the cancelled event.
Dana called Chael a “lunatic”. Dana said that Chael offered to fly to Vegas tonight and fight him immediately. He said that Chael told him to tell Jones that there will be no spinning backfist in the fight. White said that the fight didn’t make sense but felt that the people wanted to see it. Dana spoke very highly of Chael and said that he would fight anyone. Dana felt that by Friday Chael Sonnen would have convinced most of us that he was going to win. In pro wrestling terms it was as if Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones did a double turn today thanks to this media call.
It would appear that the relationship between Jones and the UFC is about as rocky as they come. White didn’t hide his anger and frustration with Jones at all during the call. Quite frankly White is seeing this as Jones turning down the fight cost the UFC millions of dollars. White was asked by a reporter about how this changed his relationship with Jon Jones and White responded, “A lot!”
The irony here is that Jones was quick to take a fight for the UFC light heavyweight championship on short notice. There is some sentiment here that Jones owed it to the UFC to take the fight or a fight in order to save the show since that gift turned Jones into a superstar. At the same time, would Dana White and the UFC really wanted to promote a pay per view event on eight days notice?
“You’re either a fighter or you’re not!” Harsh words for the world heavyweight champion. White also said when asked about what would happen if Jones turns down the Machida fight that they will be having another press conference real soon.
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