-- On Thursday, MMAScoops.com participated in a media conference call regarding UFC 151. UFC President Dana White announced that the event was cancelled due to reigning UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, turning down a replacement fight with Chael Sonnen after the original challenger, Dan Henderson was injured. Here are some further highlights:
On Chael Sonnen accepting the fight on short notice: "This is probably one of my all-time lows as being president of UFC. Dan Henderson tried to train, he continued to work out and saw a doctor, but there was nothing we could do to save that fight. But Chael Sonnen stepped up accepted the fight with Jon Jones last night. As of 8pm last night, we thought we had a fight fans would love to see. Then at about 9pm the one thing I never thought would happen in a million years happened. Jon Jones said, 'I won't fight Chael Sonnen on eight days notice'. That has never happened in the history of the UFC, a guy who is a champion, and a guy who is supposed to be one of the best fighters in the world, pound-for-pound, refuses to fight. Chael is just coming up from 185pounds. He said that not only would he face Jones in eight days, he'd jump in a plane to Vegas and fight him that night if he was asked to. Jon Jones said 'I'm not fighting Chael Sonnen with eight days' notice. Jones's trainer, Greg Jackson, told Jon that taking the fight with Chael would be the biggest mistake of his life. That's what he told Jon Jones. Let me tell you, this guy (Greg Jackson) is a sport killer.
On how White and and Lorenzo Fertita feel on Jones' decision not to fight Sonnen: "When you are a champion, much less one of the guys who is supposed to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, you are supposed to step up. Jon Jones is a guy a lot of fans don't like, and I don't think this is going to make him any more popular. Lorenzo Fertitta (UFC chairman and CEO) and I are disgusted with Jon Jones and Greg Jackson."
On how fans will remember UFC 151: "UFC 151 will be remembered as the event Jon Jones and Greg Jackson murdered. It's major, major deal. We lose a lot of money, money that's already been spent. We're eight days out. We've spent tons of money on this fight. How long and how far it goes and how bad it hurts I don't know because it's the first time we've done it.
On how Jones' pulling out affects the other fighters and other businesses: "One thing that you really have to think about are the fighters on the undercard. Sure, Jon Jones is rich what does he care if he cancels the fight? But 20 other fighters on the card added up to almost a half a million dollars in purse money that Jones and Greg Jackson's decision stole from them. No champion or headliner in UFC history has ever done that. As difficult as Tito Ortiz could be… even Tito never bailed on a fight. Many people, from fans to PPV distributors, TV networks, sponsors, and more importantly fighters who are working hard to support their families and build their careers are hurt badly by this selfish decision."
Here are some further updates:
-- Chris Weidman has stated that he also offered to fight Jon Jones at UFC 151. Here is what he had to say…
"I heard that Dan Henderson was hurt. I said, 'Wow, I'm not getting the shot at 185, let me get Jon Jones, he's freaking awesome.
I'm not sure it ever got back to Jones. If he's not taking Chael Sonnen, I'm sure he isn't going to take me."
-- UFC commentator Joe Rogan posted the following on Twitter, commenting on Jon Jones refusing to fight Chael Sonnen, and UFC 151 being cancelled.
I am completely bewildered that Jon Jones didn't accept the fight with Chael Sonnen. Never saw that coming in a million years.
Now the entire UFC card is scrapped because Jones didn't accept a fight with a 185lb'er who is completely out of shape. WOW. Just wow.
People coming to my show at Mandalay Bay on Friday the 31st- because of the UFC canceling the event, Mandalay is canceling the show as well.
All the folks that bought tickets in advance can get a full refund. My humble apologies, it's completely out of my control.
-- UFC fighter Dan Henderson released a statement on his official Facebook page regarding his removal from the UFC 151 main event fight with Jon Jones due to injury. Here is what Hendo had to say:
"Sadly and unfortunately, I partially tore a ligament in my knee in training. As a result I've had to make one of the toughest decisions that I have ever had to make...for the first time in my career I am forced to pull out of a fight, my fight with Jon Jones at UFC 151. Luckily, surgery is not needed at this time and I will be completely devoted to rehabing my knee as quickly as possible. I feel that I owe it to my fans and all the people supporting me to fight at my full potential in order to give myself a chance to win the UFC title. I appreciate the loyal support that I have felt from my fans. I want to thank all of my coaches and team of guys for the great support with my training camp. Most importantly, I appreciate their honesty when I needed them the most to make this very difficult decision. I also want to thank Dana and Lorenzo for being so understanding and supportive. I will continue to pursue the UFC belt with all of my heart!"
Henderson also made this statement regarding Jon Jones opting out of a replacement fight with Chael Sonnen for UFC 151 in an official UFC press release earlier today:
"This is the first time that the champion wouldn't step up and fight, and I was pretty shocked to hear that. It's not like he's injured. It's unbelievable to me that he wouldn't take that 'the show must go on' attitude. If there was any way I could have gone, and any way that I thought I could give myself a chance to compete, I would have done that."
-- With the upheaval over the cancellation of UFC... (Continues on next page)