Down goes UFC 151! Down goes UFC 151!


Ladies and gentlemen, I never thought I would see the day.

For the first time in 11 years, a UFC event has been canceled.

Per Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report, who was on a conference call:

Making this all the more devastating for MMA fans across the globe, this was not just any event– it featured a title fight in the main event between the legendary Dan Henderson and Nike’s new poster boy Jon Jones.

Speculative minds were figuring on UFC 151 to draw similar numbers to that of UFC 148, which featured the much-anticipated rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.

In other words, it was going to be massive.

Adding to all this, Chael Sonnen reportedly accepted to fill in for Hendo against Jones, but Jones declined.  Why would he do that?

It is a risk, and it was a risk he was not willing to take for whatever reasons.  Maybe Jones himself was not where he wanted to be in the fight and saw the injury as a nice way out.  I do not know, but there are some theories to chew on.

Dana White also reported that the fight was offered to Lyoto Machida, next in line for the light heavyweight belt, but “The Dragon” declined.

That one makes more sense: Who wants to fight Jones on eight days’ notice?

What do you guys make of this?  Should Jones have accepted Sonnen?

Will this occur more frequently now in the UFC?

Let’s hope not.
I, for one, am devastated enough as it is.


10 comments on “Down goes UFC 151! Down goes UFC 151!

  1. The fight industry treats fighters like they are disposable, and there is little concern for the well-being or long term health (financial or physical) of a fighter. If Jones took this fight and lost, his marketability as a super star would be tarnished, he would potentially lose some pay days, and he could also suffer a stupid injury. The business doesn’t care about Jones, the fans don’t care about Jones, only Jones cares about Jones, and Jones is the only one looking out for his best interests.

    If I was Jones, I would have turned down the fight.

    • thecoalfist says:

      The problem, while everything you said is true, is that Jones ruined his legacy anyway by turning it down. He caused a huge PPV to be canceled, and he will never be forgiven for that.

      Plus, Nike and the UFC sponsor the guy. Hello. Do not piss them off, dude!

      I get where you are coming from, but those are all ifs. He ruined his legacy for sure in turning down the fight and costing his organization a ton of money and the fans a wonderful fight. He showed that he is a businessman at heart, not a fighter, and we, as fans, want every UFC fighter to be a gladiator.

      Bisping fought Sonnen on eight days’ notice as well, and his pay day was almost assuredly not as high as Jones’ would have been.

      My point is, win or lose, Jones did worse for himself in turning down the fight anyway. Sonnen is less dangerous than Hendo, so the injury possibility was there anyway, arguably with a higher probability of happening.

      • Jones caused the PPV to be canceled? Huh? He made the call to pull the plug?

        Why aren’t we talking about Dana’s spin on this thing? He had the rest of the card to market. If the entire card was riding on the presence of one fight, that’s a rookie mistake in the fight world. Fighters get hurt all the time, and fights get cancelled all the time. That’s what happens when you throw all of your eggs in that one basket.

        And why aren’t we talking about Dan Henderson? Was he training safely? Was he training too hard that close to the fight? Henderson failing to stay healthy is just as much to blame for this debacle.

        A fighter can’t be a business man? Sonnen is the biggest business man of them all. Sonnen takes fights on short notice because that makes the most sense for his business. He wasn’t going to get a shot at Jones any time soon, but he saw an opportunity to get his foot in the door when Hendo pulled out. That was a business move. Sonnen has everything to gain by taking that fight (and previous fights) on short notice. Everything Sonnen does is business disguised as gamesmanship. Sonnen even failed drug tests in an effort to improve his business.

      • thecoalfist says:

        I have no problems with fighters playing the role of businessman, but Jones put business before fighting (even though his business is fighting, you get my point haha).

        Sonnen, for all his businessman escapades, stepped up to the plate and always has when it comes time to fight. He is not scared or tentative; when it comes time to fight, he is ready.

        Jones got way too into his own hype, legacy and brand and put all this before the fans, the UFC and the FIGHT.

        I see what you’re saying about Hendo. He is to blame as well, but there is a major difference between what he did and what Jones did: Hendo’s injury was an accident; Jones refused a fight on purpose.

        Your point on putting all eggs in one basket is valid; this speaks to the UFC hosting too many events and thinning out its fight cards. This was terrible, but, again, Jones could have prevented it.

        All he had to do was say “yes” to Sonnen. Was that so much to ask? I really do not think so. I just cannot see how him refusing the fight was a good idea, no matter how I look at it.

  2. Jonathan Flickinger says:

    I’ve sat here since 2PM and attempted to look at the situation from every angle….it’s really just disappointing all around. You have to blame the UFC for ultimately cancelling the event. Dana and the UFC make the call. There have been events that were put on (i.e. UFC 133), despite the lack of appeal. And it even alludes to another problem–too many events, a fight card too thin to survive when one fighter gets hurt? These are issues we could debate all day long.

    As for Hendo, he did get injured. He shares in the blame. Does this raise TRT and overtaining issues? Of course. But fighters get hurt, it happens. Jones has been hurt before. Koscheck dropped out of UFC 151 too.

    I think what really irks people about this whole situation is a ‘champion’ not taking a fight with a guy who’s already been picking one with him for two weeks. You’ve been in camp for 7 weeks, and you won’t fight a guy who’s been lounging on the couch since July 8?

    As for Jones, I’ve enjoyed watching him since 2008, and even have had positive, uplifting encounters with him in person. But today, his ‘warrior spirit’ he speaks of took a big hit. Jones fighting Sonnen on 8 days notice is a legitimate risk. But,with great risk, comes great reward. Sure, it’s a business, and you should make smart moves to protect the longevity/marketability of your career But you’re also a fighter, and need to have the best interest of the sport in mind. I think Jones has to remember—as much as he probably doesn’t like it, the UFC could easily turn it’s focus to Aldo, GSP, JDS, or another up and coming fighter to curtail to it’s fan base. With over 300 fighters on the roster, fighters come and go. Jones is no different despite his success. I mean, let’s be honest, Strikeforce LHW Champion Jon Jones, doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it? It may be far-fetched, but look at the past in Tito Ortiz, and the present with how Melendez isn’t exactly being put on a pedastal just yet?

    I’ve really tried to get beyond the actions of the UFC, Dana White, Jones, and yes, even one Chael P. Sonnen. Sit down and ask yourself, what’s best for the sport? It provides an interesting perspective on things. If you consider all the people who have a stake in this situation—who’s been affected the most?…… The UFC? Probably not. They will take a sure hit, but will continue on. The Fans? Sure, they lost money and respect for Jones, but will embrace the other superstars and 300 fighters on the payroll. Fellow fighters? Absolutely. They will lose sponsors, paychecks, etc, after putting in 8 weeks of hard training.

    In my opinion, the only real loser that ‘could’ emerge from this situation ultimately is Jon Jones. With the ‘Just Do It’ brand on his back, and his reputation taking a hit today, he could be the next ‘Tiger Woods’ in the sports world. Do I hope it happens? Absolutely Not. I’m a fight fan…and I want to see the sport of MMA rise. I’m just saying it could happen.

    Nobody is bigger than the sport itself. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you Jon Jones. Sure, it might be a risk taking the fight against Sonnen. But isn’t a risk NOT taking the fight too?

    I, along with you guys, will be watching closely to see the fallout from this.

    • thecoalfist says:

      You make awesome points, Jonathan. Thank you for commenting.

      For everything you say, I agree. The fellow fighters are really the biggest losers. Fighters are not basketball players or football players– they have, on average, a maximum of three fights a year, so losing one is significant, to say the least.

      I just personally do not see how Jones could turn down the Sonnen fight. I’ve tried to see it from every angle, but I do not get it. He has his brand, his future at stake, but if he says no, he’s immediately and irreversibly tarnished anyway.

      Does the risk outweigh the reward in the Sonnen fight? Only he can answer that, I suppose, but it seems to me he should have taken the fight without question. Sonnen is no more dangerous to him than Hendo, and he is coming off a full training camp, whereas Sonnen, like you said, has been sitting on the couch.

      Imagine if Jones had stepped up and demolished him (like he should/would). That would have looked amazing for himself, for the sport, for his sponsors and for the fans.

      Everybody wins in that case, and it would have been a defining moment in UFC history and in the legacy of Jon Jones.

      It still is now, but for entirely opposite reasons. Jones dropped the ball. Ultimately, yes the UFC canceled the event, but it was a direct result of his doing. Yes, they are to blame for having such a thin card and hosting too many shows this year, but Jones still could have saved it despite all that.

      Superman “Bones” instead cowered and bowed out.

      I get why, but I absolutely hate it and maintain that it was the wrong decision. This is all I can now remember him for, despite the fashion in which he took over the light heavyweight division.

      …It sucks. That’s the bottom line. I’m interested in seeing how he comes out of this.

  3. Jonathan Flickinger says:

    In other news, when Anthony Johnson heard the news today, he shit himself and made weight. 203lbs! At least there’s a bright side to every story. =)

  4. Jonathan Flickinger says:

    ” Just to clear the record i’ve never turn down a mma fight against anyone and never will..” -Jon Bones Jones @JonnyBones on Twitter, May 12, 2010

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