UFC 151 Cancelled; Jon Jones Refuses to Fight Chael Sonnen
Dan Henderson has to pull out of UFC 151 and the event is now cancelled. This becomes the first UFC event that the UFC has cancelled.
What is even more remarkable is that someone stepped up to fight Jones on eight days notice, but Jones refused to fight the new opponent.
To paraphrase Dana White ‘For someone to fight Jon Jones on eight days notice is tough to do. Chael Sonnen accepted the fight yesterday. At 8 or 9 o’clock last night the UFC started working on the fight. One thing that I thought would never happen, happened, said a very angry Dana White. “Jon Jones refused to fight Chael Sonnen on 8 days notice.” “This is not a decision that will make Jon Jones very popular.”
“Chael was excited for the fight. Tell Jon Jones there will not be any spinning back fists in this fight,” is what Sonnen told White when he agreed to the fight. ‘I’ll fight him tonight,’ Chael said.
White admitted the fight “did not make much sense” but believed their would be fan interest in the match up. He admitted, “that not everybody would want to see the Chael Sonnen fight.”
Jon Jones will now fight Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 in Toronto in the main event. “If I get a call today saying that Jones does not want to fight Machida, we will have another conference call today. We should have a bout agreement (today).” “It worked out beautiful for Toronto,” said White. “I expect Machida to come out like somebody possessed….I don’t know what to expect from Jon Jones anymore.”
Dana White said that Greg Jackson apparently told Jon Jones that fighting Chael Sonnen on eight days notice ‘would be the biggest mistake in his career’. Dana White called Jackson ‘a fucking sport killer.’
UFC is ‘too strapped for time’ to continue the event. They cannot come up with another main event in eight days.
As for the other fights on UFC 151, no other plans have been made for the undercard. “We’ll figure it out,” stated Dana White, who compared Jones to being more difficult than dealing with UFC bad boy Tito Ortiz.
“Jon Jones has been a champion that has not been very popular. This is not going to help him. Me and Lorenzo are disgusted with him,” said White.
“I can’t make somebody fight…You are either a fighter or you’re not!” said White, when asked if he could contractually force Jones to fight.
There is no promises that Dan Henderson will get the title shot when he returns from injury.
Fans will be fully refunded for their tickets.