Don’t expect to see Jon Jones getting brought up on charges any time soon, but according to UFC president Dana White, the light heavyweight champion has committed murder.
“UFC 151 will be remembered as the event Jon Jones and [trainer] Greg Jackson murdered,” White said in a press release after announcing that the event scheduled for Sept. 1 was cancelled. Jones refused to fight fill-in Chael Sonnen, leading to the cancellation.
Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) was originally slated to take on Dan Henderson (29-8, 6-2) at the upcoming pay-per-view event, but Henderson suffered a partial MCL tear, forcing him to withdraw from the fight. White, hopeful that the show could go on despite Hendreson’s unfortunate injury, tabbed Sonnen as the emergency stand-in, but Jones refused to fight his new opponent on such short notice. That drew the ire of White, who called Jones’ decision an “all-time low.”
“The one thing that I never thought in a million years would happen, happened,” White said. “Jon Jones said, ‘I’m not fighting Chael Sonnen with eight days’ notice.’ Again, something that’s never happened in UFC history –- a guy who’s a world champion and considered one of the pound-for-pound best -– turns down a fight.”
Jackson advised Jones not to take the fight, which White says has tarnished his relationship with both the fighter and the trainer going forward.
“Good for you, Jon Jones,” White said mockingly. “You’re rich and you’ve got some money so you didn’t need to take this fight. But there are a bunch of the guys on the undercard and this is the way they feed their family. This is the way they make a living. The UFC has spent [loads] of money to promote this fight and you didn’t feel like it or whatever your reason is not to fight.”
There are obviously a number of factors leading to White’s frustration over UFC 151’s cancellation, but the “major, major” amount of money that could be lost as a result is likely what put White over the edge. He then clearly needed to point a finger in someone’s direction, though, and with Sonnen willing to step up and Jones unwilling to do the same, it was ultimately Jones who felt the wrath.
Jones will now square off with Vitor Belfort on Sept. 22. Perhaps he should pull out late out of spite.
Jon Jones thumbnail photo (left) via Facebook/Jon Jones
Nike probably won’t be taking this marketing advice any time soon.
Photo via Twitter/@PensiveSnark
My version as LeBron [James] being on par with Michael [Jordan] is this: They’re both on the golf course. Michael’s on the 18th hole. LeBron is somewhere on like the fourth hole. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s on par to get to the 18th hole.
— DynastySportsEmpire (@DSE_Baseball) August 24, 2012