UFC cancels UFC 151, conveniently puts all blame on Jon Jones

In case you have been under a rock today, UFC 151 has been cancelled.

The short story is Dan Henderson injured his knee and couldn’t fight next Saturday, prompting the UFC to offer Jon Jones a replacement opponent of Chael Sonnen. Jones, after speaking with his team, declined to take the fight on such short notice.

So, the UFC, instead of finding a new main event, or just running with the card they setup sans the main event, decided to just axe the event altogether.

In the process, they completely threw the light heavyweight champion under the bus.

Normally, I am on Dana White’s side of things. He is a hot head, no doubt, but he usually tells it like it is.

However, blaming Jones for the canceling of an event is simply a convenient way to take the blame off of himself and the UFC.

First off, canceling an entire UFC event is a big deal. It impacts the fighters, the venue, the host city and those that would be working the event.

Many fighters rely on a small paycheck from fighting on the under card simply to make ends meet. Due to the UFC’s venom spewed at Jones, many of those fighters are now taking their anger and frustration out on the champion as well.

But, let’s all take a deep breath and take into consideration two things:

1. Chael Sonnen is a tough opponent, no matter how long he has to prepare or what weight he is fighting at. The man is a grinder and a fighter that poses a great challenge to anyone. For Jon Jones to have 8 days to prepare for him isn’t a lot of time. Certainly it’s not a lot of time for Sonnen either, but he has nothing to lose in this scenario, while Jones does. The fight would be a no-win situation. If Jones won, he wouldn’t get much credit, because he’s fighting a smaller fighter. If he lost, it would be a huge upset and likely cost him millions in future fight purses and sponsorships. It’s easy for all of us not in Jones’ position to throw stones at him, but if we were in his spot, we would be hard pressed to not make the same decision. Jones deserves some blame here and it is disappointing he turned the fight down, but he didn’t cancel the show.

2. Why is the UFC not taking any heat for this? The organization has got so event-happy that it is putting together very weak under cards. If the UFC wasn’t diluting the PPV cards to have so many events, this card would have been strong enough to lose the main event and still go on as planned. If an event taking place or not taking place rides on one man, it wasn’t much of an event to begin with. Also, let’s realize that the UFC is doing the exact same thing that Jon Jones is doing. If the UFC wasn’t trying to do what’s best for its own pocket book, this event would still be taking place. There is no reason, if the UFC is so honorable and great, that they can’t have the fights that are still on the card take place next Saturday in Las Vegas. If losing a lot of money wasn’t their concern, like it was for Jones, they would deal with the bad attendance gate and the awful PPV numbers and just take the hit. If they were about the fighters and the fans as much as they are trying to sound like they are right now, they would accept the financial loss and not be pushing it all on Jones. They can certainly afford to pay the under card fighters and put on somewhat of a show for those that already have plane tickets and hotel reservations. But, instead they want to try to save as much money as they can and blame it all on Jones.

How would you feel to be Jones right now? Would you want to even compete in the UFC again? The UFC needs Jon Jones right now just like he needs the UFC.

Jones is becoming a huge star. He is the first to land a sponsorship deal with Nike. He can be the face of this sport and this franchise, making unimaginable money for himself and the UFC along the way.

It appears the UFC and Dana White would rather act like children because they didn’t get their way this one time. For once, a fighter faced with a truly problematic situation, didn’t drink the Kool-Aid.

Let’s not forget that Jones fought five times in 14 months recently. He has been a workhorse for the UFC. He does the promotional tours and public appearances for each of those fights. God forbid that he wanted more than 8 days to prepare for a fighter that nearly beat Anderson Silva.

Many of you may disagree with me, but take the UFC blinders off for a minute and really break this whole thing down. It’s not as cut and dry as Dana White wants you to think it is.

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