That may not be the popular opinion today, but really, it’s the right one.
Now I sound like Chael.
Unfortunately for the UFC, Dana White and many, many fans out there, Dan Henderson suffered a minor tear of his MCL while training and had to remove himself from his upcoming fight against the Light Heavyweight Champ, Jon “Bones” Jones. That, as we all know, can and sometimes does happen. Usually, if a replacement fight cannot be found, the other co-main event will take the stage as the only main event and the event can go on as scheduled. In this case, the big draw was going to be Jones’ title defense against Hendo with a line up of smaller fights for the under card. With no Jones versus anyone for a main event, the event was canceled and all those fighters that have trained on the under card are out of luck.
Had Jon Jones taken the fight with Chael Sonnen, this would still be a story, but definitely not have gained as much traction. Jones would still be a fan favorite and Sonnen would be running his mouth, as per usual. The only problem, as a friend pointed out to me this morning, is that Sonnen would only have 8 days of shit talking instead of 3-4 months. Instead, Jones has become the villain of the UFC and Dana White and Sonnen have no problem poking the fire that has engulfed UFC 151.
Check out the interview Chael did today with ESPN below. In the video, he takes his shots at Jones like only Chael Sonnen can, but he also shows a side you don’t often see from Sonnen. He talks about the other people on that card. Not only the fighters, but the trainers and everyone in the camp that was depending on that $5,000 or $10,000 for fighting. They are left with nothing. Some needed that money more than anyone will know and now, since Jones turned down his fight, they are left in a lurch. It was a selfish move by Jones and his camp and Sonnen is simply calling them out for it.
[youtube id=7yDA3QSgFwU ]
For those of you who argue that Jones is smart to not take the fight because Sonnen is a dangerous fighter are not looking at the big picture. Sonnen is a great fighter, but he is a great fighter that was moving up a weight class to fight on 8 DAYS NOTICE. Also, it is widely known that both Sonnen and Henderson are wrestling based fighters with the big power punches. Hell, they have even trained together in the past. They both have their opponents on the defense for most of a fight with the opportunity for a take down at any given moment. Anyone see where I am going with this? Jones would be training and preparing for a fight with Sonnen the exact same way he has prepared and trained to fight Henderson. He’s as ready as he will be, no matter if he was fighting Henderson or Sonnen. So why not take the fight?
Back in May of 2010 when Jones was coming up through the ranks, he tweeted “Just to clear the record I’ve never turn down a MMA fight against anyone and never will”. Maybe this is why Dana White got so upset about this cancellation. Then again, did he really need a reason? The UFC has been run by White for 11 years without an incident like this, no reason to start now. White said in a conference call that this was one of the “all time lows” in the UFC and he actually still sounded shocked by how it sounded to tell the media that one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world was turning down a fight.
Perhaps Jones is afraid of losing his title to someone who didn’t train like he did for the title shot/defense. Maybe he feels that it might be an easy way for Sonnen to get that title that he wants so bad he can taste it. If that is the case, then Jon Bones Jones is a big old hypocrite. Let’s take a jog down memory lane to when Bone Jones won his title…
Right after defeating Ryan Bader, while still in the ring, Joe Rogan informed Jones that Rashad Evans had hurt his knee and that he would be replacing him against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the Light Heavyweight Championship. That would give Jones approximately 6 weeks to prepare himself for Rua and continue to train. Jones got his shot, and made the most of it by defeating Shogun by TKO in the third round.
If Jones would have accepted the fight against Sonnen, Sonnen would have had about the same amount of time since his last fight (UFC 148, July 7th) that Jones did when he got his title shot. The only difference here is that Sonnen didn’t know he was going to fight until 8 days before, not 6 weeks.
Everything above gives Jon Bones Jones the advantage in this fight. Everything. The fact that Sonnen offered to fight for free, to give Jones his purse, just goes to show you how much Sonnen wants a title shot. At the end of the day, maybe Chael Sonnen’s hunger for a belt is what ultimately made Jon Bones Jones refuse to fight him.
Yes, I am calling him a pussy.