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Friday, 08/24/2012, 07:47 am

Just When You Thought Things Couldn't Get Any Stranger!!!! They Do!!

When I went to bed last night I was under the belief that things couldn’t get any crazier. When I woke up I realized I was clearly wrong. After yesterday’s events centering around Dan Henderson’s injury, Jon Jones refusal to fight Chael Sonnen on eight days notice and the complete cancellation of UFC 151, I thought I had seen it all. Overnight, news broke that Lyoto Machida had turned down the rematch with Jones at UFC 152 (Renamed UFC 151?) and middleweight Vitor Belfort has stepped up to the plate and accepted a shot at the light heavyweight championship on September 22nd in Toronto! If your head is spinning don’t worry because you are not the only one.

Before I even get into my opinions on whether I believe Jones was wrong or right for refusing to fight Sonnen, I have to commend The American Gangsta and The Phenom for answering the call and accepting a huge challenge. Both men have been competing at 185lbs. for many years now and not only would they be moving up in weight they offered to take on a man many consider to be one of the best fighters the sport has ever seen. That is the true definition of Ultimate Fighting. Anderson Silva also deserves some credit as he told UFC President Dana White that he would face another light heavyweight next week in an attempt to save the card.

Ok, with all that aside, I am in utter disbelief that Jones turned down the fight with Sonnen. He blew an opportunity to show the fans a side of him that people have called into question; his heart and love for this business. For a man who never seems to be lacking in confidence he didn’t show any by refusing to fight a man who hasn’t fought as a light heavyweight in nearly seven years. Jones talks about money! The fans would’ve paid an arm and a leg to see this fight go down. If anyone could sell a fight in 8 days it is Chael Sonnen. Now Jones has turned Sonnen into a cult hero and has the fans, media and his fellow fighters pissed off at what they perceive to be a selfish move on his part.

I spoke to Dan Hardy last night and he offered his opinion on whether or not Jones should have turned down the fight and who is ultimately responsible for cancelling the card.

““Myself and Jon Jones are very different people and I’m very proud to say that as well,” Hardy told BJPenn.com “From his point of view I can see why he would turn down the fight. Chael Sonnen in my opinion doesn’t deserve a title shot in his first fight in the weight class. He needs to win a couple of fights first. He hasn’t really earned a shot, there’s nothing for Jones to gain out of it. He’s fully in his rights to turn down the fight, it’s disappointing obviously, the fans want to see the fight, but these things happen. He doesn’t have enough time to alter his game plan as the last week is about cutting weight and resting. I also don’t think it’s his responsibility to make the sure the event goes on. The UFC needs to make sure these events are balanced enough so if we do lose a big fight there are still alternatives and that the other fighters will still get paid.”

The undercard fighters who have lost a paycheck are the ones I feel for. They have families to feed, coaches to pay and they don’t have seven figure endorsement deals to fall back on, but like Hardy said that responsibility can’t fall squarely on the shoulders of Jon Jones. The UFC was banking on this one fight to sell a pay-per-view and while there were some exciting match-ups scheduled, they weren’t strong enough to influence fans to spend $50 on this event. Even the co-main event which can usually be counted upon to have name value and/or title implications offered fans very little.

Jake Ellenberger is fun to watch, but he isn’t a big enough star yet and matching him up with Jay Hieron, a man known for his less than thrilling fights was a huge mistake. Once Koscheck got injured I knew that this card was in trouble. People pay to see Koscheck win or get beat up, he has that type of value, plain and simple. When you have Dennis Siver vs. Eddie Yagin, Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares and John Lineker vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani rounding out your main card you are asking for trouble. Those bouts are better served on an FX or Fuel TV card.

Yesterday history was made, but for all the wrong reasons. For the first time since Zuffa purchased the UFC an event has been cancelled. For the first time a reigning champion has turned down a fight and for the first time a fighter who has been competing in one weight class will get a title shot in their reintroduction to a new weight class. Kudos to Belfort, Silva and Sonnen, three middleweights who were willing to move up to help save the day for the company they work for. I am not going to bash Jones, enough people are doing that, I am disappointed, but there is enough negativity going around.

I’d like to end this on a positive note if I may. UFC welterweight Dan Miller and his family received some fantastic news yesterday regarding their son Daniel who has a very rare kidney disorder called Polycystic Kidney Disease. Miller was scheduled to face Sean Pierson next month at UFC 151(152), but was forced to withdraw because Daniel will finally receive the kidney transplant he needs next month. I spoke to Dan yesterday before he got the news and he discussed how involved the treatment is for his son and the fact that it costs over $10k a month. This is the type of news I like to hear and focus on. Best of luck to the Millers and they will be in my prayers.

comments

49 Comments to Just When You Thought Things Couldn't Get Any Stranger!!!! They Do!!

  1. Ok says:

    Stop going to sleep so early, this news broke about 10-1030pm pacific time. Also, no one cares what Dan hardy has to say… Jones name was on the Marquee that sold all the tickets and ppv(s), they’re not stackin his cards mainly because he’s the draw after killing the who’s who of 205 (of course injuries and free shows make the cards harder to stack but most of Jones’s cards last year werent stacked).

    • H-Bomb Baby says:

      Yeah, they promoted exactly ONE FIGHT! That is the most extreme short sighted miss that you could imagine. The whole card sucked other than the Jon Jones fight. UFC dropped the ball on this 1, and they are the ones to soley blame for this crap. Sure, everyone is disappointed that Jones is not fighting but you cannot blame him for canceling the ENTIRE event. That is only the power of the promoter to shutdown a whole event. Dana White blew it, he knew it, and he is the 1 that owes all the undercard fighters some serious money! He should be paying them all at least 10,000 dollars for not being able to fight, do to him acting like a baby about this and being bipolar again! I was looking forward to it Dan Henderson knockout and not a Johnny Jones win again, but this is a bunch of bullshit. I blame Dan Henderson for getting injured the week before the damn fight, Dana White for being a huge baby about the whole thing, and I am disappointed that I don’t get to see Jon Jones win or get knocked out. The undercard suckED! No other way around that. He should have moved the fight to Fuel TV, where it honestly should have been in the first place. Who wants to spend over $50 for only 1 fight that is PPV quality??? The bitching and whining is pathetic! Dana AND the (lazy) Fertitas need to own this mess, and pony up refunds, comp free tickets to another event for those already holding tickets, and PROVE that Zuffa gives a shit about the FANS and NOT just their bottom line! This is great in a way, as this shows that the FIGHTERS are finally getting the power to decide where their careers go, and not just have to do what the promoters tell them to. The power to turn down a fight IS the right of a champion! But the power to CANCEL an event rests solely with the PROMOTER(S)!! Ups to those that stepped up to help but Dana White and the Fertitas need to put on their big boy pants and issue some SERIOUS apologies to the fans and to make it up go the undercard fighters!

    • cali says:

      I stopped reading at ‘Dan Hardy’

  2. The Human Piranha says:

    Hardy is 100% correct, it’s really the UFC’s fault, they are the ones who cancelled the event – not jones. They should have left the event go on and Tryed to stick in some other value fight. It hey cancelled the event coz they wouldn’t make enough money on it, they should have just made the Ppv cheaper. Jones should fight but it’s not on him that the show is off, UFC blatantly cancelled it for profit reasons and are pinning the blame on Jones/Jackson

    • math major says:

      If your the main employee who’s gonna keep the store open and refuse to work with a new person what would your boss say after he just bought all the things to sell and has a room full of people who payed to go to work and work piece work, essentially your not allowing them to make money and cost them all money because you don’t want to have to get your hands dirty with the new guy who may just happen to take your job.

      • H-Bomb Baby says:

        This is NOT the local hardware store! Comparing it like that is total “apples and oranges” kinda thing. It is NOT a typical business, and is NOT run like one! Boxers get pulled too, and they don’t fight a new opponent on short notice. This is hand-to-hand COMBAT, here! Not, “who’s running the doughnut shop today” kind of thing. One wrong move and your career is D-O-N-E! If you burn a dozen donuts you just make more. You mess up in a combat sport and get seriously injured, you WILL be working behind the counter the rest of your life! LOL DW and the Fertitas will continue to make their millions, just not off this event. I still want to see Dan KO Jonny in the (hopefully) near future.

      • Math Minor says:

        What a retarded analogy! The answer to your fantasy is that the Boss would come in and work! And work short-handed if he needed to!

        So, in essence, what you’re saying is that Dana White should get into the Octagon with Jones??? Sounds like a winner! Or, at least, make it White vs Jackson (I got my money on Greg).

        • Thurgood Jenkins says:

          I would pay to see either of those two fights.

        • Dried Sullivan says:

          Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman both wanted to fight and were probably walking around at about 205, why not let them fight each other in a non-title match to replace the main event? They could have gotten something together instead of just scrapping the entire card. That was pretty fucking stupid if you ask me.

    • H-Bomb Baby says:

      +10

  3. 123 says:

    dan hardy has an opinion too u idiot, but this is a pointless article because everybody knows this already.

  4. boycott jones says:

    embargo

  5. Cody says:

    How is it the ufcs fault it’s not possible to stack every card it’s just not I defiantly respect Jon’s right to refuse the fight but he is the champ and they weren’t asking a lot for him to fight a mw who just lost who can’t be in 5 rs shape to save the card for the fans and for his company who in large part made him who he is is was very selfish no matter how much u support Jon he fucked up on this one

    • BowtieAssassin says:

      I don’t support Jones at all, can’t stand the guy but this isn’t about stacking the card, the point of a co-main is that it’s a good enough fight that if the main falls apart the co-main can salvage the card, so yeah this is more Zuffa’s fault then Jones.

    • Hey Cody says:

      Explain why Machida refused to fight Jones on the UFC 152 card? No one’s asking that question. The UFC has to hit up the MW division to find an opponent for Jones because Machida denied fighting Jones next month.

      Jones could’ve fought. But it wasn’t Jones’ decision to cancel the entire card and negatively affect the lives of the fighters, trainers, and fans. That lies solely on the UFC.
      The 151 card came together poorly and this was their way out of it. Feed Jones/Jackson/Winklejohn to the dogs and watch the fans eat it up also.

  6. some dude says:

    The fight with elenburger vs kos was a good fight but kos got injured otherwise 151 could still go on its not the ufc fault people get injured but it is there fault for hiring bitch ass people that dont help the company or fans lile jon bitch jones

  7. FACT says:

    Dana White should have been patient and not reacted so quickly like he often does. Its time that he learns some repsect for the sport and his fighters. You dont throw your champion under the bus just because he follows the direction of the people he pays to help him make difficult choices. Jones has accompished a lot and has fought a lot as well. He has positioned himself well and has more to lose than Sonnen and the UFC. People need to step back and look at the big picture so you can then see the details and not a big blur which happens to be they way Dana White reacts and makes choices.

    • BowtieAssassin says:

      Exactly, throw him under the bus then go back to promoting him for your next event, very intelligent Mr. White.

    • spawn says:

      He wasn’t throwing his champion under the bus. If anything, sonnen was throwing himself under a bus (but for the fans and the company). Sonnen didnt take weeks preparing for a fight. He would of went in not at full power. Jones was prepared and ready to go. Sonnen was also stepping into a new weight class. Jones has been fighting for years. On paper, jones is ranked better than Sonnen. This was, technically speaking, an easy fight for Jones. Of course anything can happen in MMA, but at the end of the day if the so-called champion, greatest fighter, rank 1 guy is scared to fight such an easy fight (I guaruntee he will never be offered more lop-sided favouring conditions in his career again) then he doesn’t deserve to be called a champion.

      And as for you saying dana was being impatient and needs to learn to wait things out…. Wow. Think outside the box man. He had 8 days. 8 days in UFC business time is LAST MINUTE. He doesn’t have any more time to wait. There are hundreds of things involved in setting up an event not just putting 2 guys in a ring and saying fight. All the final set up and preparations and coordination can take days. At 8 days, you don’t have any time left to wait.

  8. Ryan says:

    This shit is So stupid. Now what am I going to do september 1st…? Probably watching youporn and compulsively masturbating to Asian fetish like porn.

  9. bob says:

    i think jones should b stripped of the belt for not accepting an alternate fight i wat h just about all events and have been since long before the ufc was as mainstream as it isanccd to have a champion refuse a fight causing the entire event to be cancelled is bs i for 1 will not be watching any event this fake champ is a part of dana should have said ok you dont want sonnen and dont wanna fight then no belt for you the number 1 and 2 guys will fight for the belt

    • H-Bomb Baby says:

      Yeah, sure, “strip the title!” He’s fighting for the UFC in LESS than 30 days! Do you people even train or compete? When at the highest levels of ANY sport, every move needs to be though out so you can have a long, profitable CAREER! This is not bar fighting, this is making a LIVING! How much do you think the undercard fighters are wishing they had a downside on their contracts for EXACGLY this reason?? Zuffa should offer ALL the other fighters at LEAST $5k or MORE for canceling the entire event. They’ve moved cards around before. Moving it from PPV to free TV might not have brought in as much $$$$ but at least it would have made SOME cash in the ling run.

  10. FACT says:

    bob smartin up young man. Jones is not the issue, its Dana White jumping to soon and not looking at all options. How can Dana White speak so negatively about a fighter who has positioned himself by beating 4 top guys last year. No matter how frustrating the situation is Dana White proved again that he is not in a mental or emotional position to be President of Company that needs level headed and innovated thinkers. Dana White is at fault 100%. If you dont get paid you speak to your boss not another employee.

  11. JG says:

    This entire situation is just unfortunate. At the end of the day, life goes on. Dan Hardy’s opinion was a measure for comparison. An insight to a fighters mind set and what may or may not drive them to compete.

    It is Jon Jones fault. When Dan Henderson gets hurt, the UFC has a responsibility to replace the inured fighter. They did and Jon Jones decided not to agree to the new opponent. For the sake of argument, let’s say that Jon Jones was offered Forrest Griffin or Fabio Maldonado, then he would’ve said yes. He is protecting his brand.

    Dana White said that Jon knew exactly what would happen if he turned down the Sonnen offer and he still went ahead and turned it down. Yes, the UFC cancels the show but, it’s due to the the Main Event not willing to compete. He knew full well that the other fighters would suffer because of it but, his record and reputation are more important to him.

    Tito took that fight with Rashad on less than 3 weeks notice. Tito had just stunned Bader, and Rashad said yes. We all knew he’d walk through Tito just like we all knew that Jones has the skill to walk through Chael. But, the risk management kicks in and Jon says no.

    It’s selfish and un-Champion like. Period.

  12. Yo says:

    Its still Jones heartless fault imo.How you gonna be a fighter and considered p4p best and turn down fights like his opponent has some kinda advantage on him,Boooooooooo still yet and dont even get me started with Greg Jackson,weaksauce blaming this on Dana.Just Scrap

  13. Headblader says:

    Jones is to blame. All he had to do was say he’d accept the fight, but not as a title fight. The UFC would have been OK with that and if Sonnen had won, then they’d have some real excitement for a rematch that was a title fight.

  14. jaymoncibaiz808 says:

    i’m not really mad at jones for the card being scrapped, i’m mad at him because there are fighters who would have stepped up to the call and taken the fight, its happened in the past where guys fight on 1 week notice. jon jones is the champion, he should have stepped up as a leader, even if he lost he would still have the respect with everyone knowing it was a big risk. he let a lot of people down, and impacted the lives of the lower level fighters in a selfish move. and i’m not sure if any of you have ever paid attention to his twitter, but jones did say he would never turn down a fight, well don’t say things you won’t back up. for a guy that is suppose to be about god, and putting others first, he’s done the exact opposite knowing the consequences of his actions. i find it fitting that belfort is the man who is tasked to fight jones, and i think god is about to smack jones for his actions. not to be religious and shit, but thats just my opinion.

  15. Cpp says:

    Now Im thinking Jones has responsibility for the cancellation. Ultimately, in the end, it was his decision that cost the entire event.
    BUT, the UFC should be the main target to blame here. As many mentioned, the co main event was not even advertised. Co main event in a sense is like a backup for the main event, but UFC just had no fight that could replace the main card.

    In a business sense here are what DW did wrong:
    1. Used up the 4 arguably the top LHW contenders recently (evans against jones, and shogun, machida and bader at ufc on fox 4)
    2. Therefore failed keeping the supply of fighters good enough to fight jones
    3. Thus giving jones choices from fighters from MW who were long time away from their las fight as LHW
    4. And cancelling the entire event too soon. Maybe just a day late and we might have seen jones vs silva.

    Of course Jones’s stubborness is what ultimately cost the event and bread for the other fighters, and he should be blamed for. But bigger blame should go to the UFC corporation for failing in the business. Thank god we will have UFC 152 though.

  16. Rob says:

    UFC fucked up and need a scapegoat.

  17. Omaeka says:

    Why not have Sonnen vs Belfort as the 151 main event? That’d sell like crazy as they hate each other!

  18. RoundHouse2Face says:

    UFC is to blame. putting it on jones because the rest of the undercard sucked donkey dick is not jones problem. UFC only promoted the MAIN EVENT, its all I saw on tv for the last month. throwing a fight together with whoeverthefuck said yes in a week’s notice wasnt jones problem. As much as i would had liked to see hendo dispatch jones, i still aint blaming him for turning the chael fight down. Chael is in fact a competitor i give him that but not even close to worthy of a title shot after coming off a loss in a totally diff weight class. People need to blame zuffa for trying to change the blame from the company onto jones instead. Lets make one fighter look bad instead of people being upset were charging them 50 dollars to see ellenberger and who? fight

  19. Boycott UFC 152 says:

    Don’t give Jones his payday after his actions caused a bunch of other fighters to lose their payday’s because he is a coward and wouldn’t fight.

  20. Craig says:

    I don;t get why Machida is getting off scott free.

    Everyone is jumping down Jone’s shit because he wouldn’t take a fight with someone that is not even close to having earned a title shot.

    No one is saying a word about the fact that Machida was offered the fight and turned it down.

    And why Sonnen OR Belfort? Why wasn’t it offered to a LHW? Maybe Rua since UFC is all about rematches now.

  21. tank says:

    im pretty sure wwe did this same skit awhile back… i think it was canceled because jones told brock hit dana with a steel chair. its only a matter of time

    • tank says:

      its was a good run but now that ufc has its fighters all training in this hybrid of martial arts its watered down and predictable most fights. i miss the clash of styles one exteme vs another not hughes clones

  22. MMAstodon says:

    Some people seem to be smoking too much crack… First, about Machida, he believes he has the tools to beat Jones and many of us believe he does but it’s also a reality that he’ll need to train for months to be able to build a good enough game plan to beat Jones so that’s the reason why he didn’t take the fight. Why take the fight and lose? He won’t be granted a title shot after losing to Jones again. Now, about Jones not fighting Sonnen, it’s ultimately his decision if he wants to fight or not, he was payed to fight Henderson, not anyone else and if the doesn’t want to fight a replacement opponent then it’s a problem but the UFC is blaming him for stupid things. Why didn’t they just give us the card for free if they were gonna cancel it anyway??? They blame Jones for the event cancelation but hey, we could’ve had a free card if they UFC really wanted to prove him wrong and still help the other fighters get payed. Get real people!

  23. Jessa Olazo says:

    I don’t know what good is there with all this ruckus on 151. Maybe Jones need not to fight until 2013? haha! He needs to move to heavy weight and fight more challenging opponents. No sense in him staying at middle and fighting fighters who don’t stand any chance. The fight against Vitor would be one-sided, you’ll see. Isn’t worth for PPV.

  24. dastuka says:

    I cant stand Jones. But Dan Hardy hit the nail on the head when he said the UFC needs to balance these cards better so they dont HINGE on One fight, even if it is the Main Event. If Dana or the Fertitas really cared about those undercard guys and their 5 or 10 thousand dollar purses…they could easily shell that money out. Or just give them all a 5k bonus etc…something.

  25. James Lakey says:

    my prayers are with u mr miller u stay with ur boy and we will see u again soon when hes healthy

  26. tobes says:

    FYI to the author and readers, this is not the first time someone has changed weight classes and gotten an immediate title shot (as the author indicated). Randy Couture got a title shot coming back to the HW division against Tim Sylvia. Dan Henderson got a title shot dropping down to MW from LHW after losing to Rampage for the title.

    In both of those cases there was no clear number one contender and the champion had cleared out the division (HW division was weak when Tim was champ, and Anderson was on his way to being greatest P4P fighter in the world when he fought Hendo).

    There might be other examples that I’m forgetting. Actually now that I think about it, Vitor himself had never fought at 185 in the UFC when he fought Anderson because the fight with Franklin was a catchweight at 195.

    So not only is this not the first time this has happened, it has literally already happened with the same fighter :)

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