UFC 151 Cancelled!
Last night I got word that Dan Henderson may be injured and have to put out of his bout with current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion at UFC 151. I looked into it, and found it to be more than credible.
Then UFC President Dana White affirmed the rampant rumor during a conference call at 2 PM ET today.
White took the podium and stated that Dan Henderson is out of the fight due to a partial MCL tear, and while looking for a replacement on 8 days notice, no one could or would accept the fight to challenge Jones for the Light Heavyweight Title…save one man: Chael Sonnen.
White said Sonnen said he would fight Jones, “last night.” Jones, however, knowing full well that declining to fight on the UFC 151 card would cause it to be cancelled, declined anyway.
This is the first time in the Zuffa era that the UFC has had to cancel an event.
White said that Jones’s trainer, Greg Jackson, told him that to take the fight with Sonnen “would be the biggest mistake of your entire career.” So Jones headed those words and stated he wasn’t fighting a different opponent on 8 days notice.
Jon Jones will now face Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 on September 22 in Toronto…which is now the new UFC 151.
Angry, White let loose some jabs about both Jackson and Jones, saying of Jackson, “This guy is a fucking sport-killer. He’s from another planet.” When asked about Jones’ decision, White offered up, “I don’t think it’s great. The first champion ever to turn down a fight.” White continued saying that Tito Ortiz was the most difficult fighter ever, but he never turned down a fight. And when asked if this changes the relationship between Jones and himself, White said, “A lot.”
“We’ve never ever had a fighter refuse to fight a guy. Every day, crazy shit happens, here’s a new crazy one for us…I don’t think this is going to do wonders for his popularity. For me and Lorenzo, we are disgusted.
“You can’t make someone fight. I can’t do that. You’re either a fighter or you’re not.” Good for you Jon Jones that you have money but there’s a bunch of guys that needed to fight to feed their families.”
White continued to praise Sonnen, saying, “Chael would have had to beat three nasty guys to get to Jones. But he would have fought anybody. He puts his money where his mouth is…Chael Sonnen would have showed up and fought his ass off.”
“If I get a call today saying Jones doesn’t want to fight Machida, we’re having another conference call today. And it won’t be good.”
As for the remaining fight/fighters on the card, White said, “we’ll figure it out.”
There was quite a bit more, and if/when audio is released, I’ll have it for you guys/girls.
UPDATE: Audio has been released. Check it out right here.