This upcoming holiday weekend MMA fans were supposed to be watching the UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones take on the ageless wonder Dan Henderson in the UFC 151 main event. Instead MMA fans witnessed the shocking cancellation of the event after Dan Henderson became injured and Jon Jones declined a fight.
The turn of events that led to Dana White and the UFC cancelling the event have been written about at nausea across the internet. The UFC light heavyweight champion declined the fight with Chael Sonnen with less than two weeks before UFC 151 was set to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada and the plug was pulled.
Over the last seven days the finger of blame has been pointed in nearly every direction. Dana White obviously pointed to the champion, as did many of the fighters who were once scheduled to fight on the UFC 151 card. Jon Jones decided to point at the injured Dan Henderson while the fans went after Jones but also didn’t let the UFC President off the hook either.
The three players in the “Blame” game are as follows, Jon Jones, Dana White and Dan Henderson.
Let’s rule out Henderson right away because all he did was get injured, something that happens with great frequency and how soon Jon Jones forgets, is the way the champ got his title shot in the first place. The only thing that Henderson could be blamed for is the fact he waited too long before letting Dana White and the UFC know of the injury. Maybe if it was brought up right away something could have been figured out earlier and well, who knows.
Next up on the podium of blame is Mr. White, who is the man ultimately responsible for making the call on the event being cancelled. A UFC 151 card without Jones vs. Henderson as the main event wasn’t a stacked card but it wasn’t the worst PPC card the promotion has put together recently. The UFC has always prided themselves as having a deep roster and always being able to overcome things like late minute injuries and scratched fights. But when the champ said “NO” the show could have gone on bur instead they threw up their hands and White pulled the plug.
Last to face the jury is Jones, who has made it look easy inside the Octagon on his way to becoming the first dominate light heavyweight champion the UFC has seen since Chuck Liddell. The decision by Jones to turn down the fight with Sonnen, fully knowing the ramifications go against his dominates champion moniker though. A fighter that is considered to be one of the top pound for pound fighters in the game shouldn’t shy away from a fight against a fighter that is moving up in weight class and has only days to prepare, even if that fighter is Chael Sonnen. If you don’t think he’s worthy, prove it! If you think he’s talked his way into the fight and don’t like what he’s saying, shut him up!
There isn’t just one person at fault here and the level of blame each player will receive is depended on who you asking. If you’re asking me I’d put the percentage of blame as follows, 60% to Jones, 35% to White and just 5% of the blame to Henderson.
The cancelled UFC 151 will forever be the event that never happened and no matter whom you think is to blame, Jon Jones will be the one forever linked to this event in UFC history.