Dana White: "Vitor begged for the fight, and it made more sense." | UFC News
By: Chris Taylor
At today’s UFC 152 pre-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White explained the reasoning behind choosing Vitor Belfort to face Jon Jones at UFC 152.
“People talk a lot of [expletive], but nobody’s too excited to jump around and fight Jones right now,” White said on a Tuesday call with media members. “When it came time for them to get the title shot, they turned it down. Vitor was calling Lorenzo (Fertitta) up and said, ‘I want this fight with Jon Jones so bad.'”
Many fans initially thought it would be Chael Sonnen who would face Jones, as he had originally stepped up and offered his services to help save the UFC 151 event. However, White said the outspoken Oregon native did not have enough time to prepare for UFC 152, and so Belfort got the nod.
“Chael Sonnen did not have enough time to train for that fight. You know, Chael stepped up last minute and accepted the fight and everything else and I have nothing but respect for him for doing it. But, Vitor Belfort was already in camp,” White said. “Vitor begged for the fight, and it made more sense.” White went on to say “Vitor stepped up and took the fight. Guys that were next in line for the fight wanted nothing to do with it!”
When a media member asked White “What is your response to people who are a little critical of choosing Vitor,”
“Don’t watch it,” White responded. “If you don’t like this fight and you don’t think this is going to be a great fight, don’t watch it.”
UFC 152 takes place at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on September 22, the main card is on pay-per-view and prelims will air on FX and Facebook.