Friday, August 24, 2012

UFC 151 Cancellation - My Opinion

UFC 151 just got cancelled. Several things come to mind when I heard this. First, Jon Jones refusing to fight the only man who stepped up is ludicrous. Second, the UFC has stretched itself thin enough that the rest of the card was so weak that no other fight could be moved up to the main event. Third, Chael Sonnen just increased his status by actually not being a douche. Fourth, I was once a strong Jones supporter, now I am officially jumping off the bandwagon.

The man was already in training and had only to re-gameplan for a new opponent. Chael Sonnen is a man, who in all reality is a one-dimensional fighter. He lacks the knockout power of his previous opponent Dan Henderson and Sonnen's gameplan in every fight is to take you down and ground and pound you. Jones has never been taken down in his career. So he refused a fight with a fighter who lacks a real threat to him. He screwed the UFC, the other fighters on the card and most importantly, the FANS.

The one thing being overlooked by most of the media is the fact that this card was weak. Dana White and company have stretched themselves so thin that no other fight on the UFC 151 card was good enough to be elevated to the main event. The fact that the event was cancelled is not all on Jones. The UFC is as much to blame for putting together a terrible fight card. The fact that Jon Jones already isn't a popular champion who does poor pay-per-view numbers would make you think that the UFC would try to stack the card to help the pay-per-view numbers. The fact that they didn't and now the event is cancelled is at a minimum 50% the UFC's fault, probably more.

Early in Jones' career he fought multiple times in rapid succession. His first 4 fights were in less than a month. He fought 7 times in 2008. And he took his initial title shot on just over 5 weeks notice. So it's not unheard of for Jon Jones to take fights on short notice. The fact that he is in shape and currently training makes no sense to me to hurt his company, peers and fan base the way he has done.

Now, the argument can be made that Greg Jackson is right and that taking a new opponent in a title fight is not the smart move. I am able to understand the mindset that they don't have enough time to prepare for a new opponent. It doesn't however, make sense to me that all he would have to do would be to watch some tape of Sonnen, and come up with a new gameplan. That can be done easily in the 8 days before the fight.

Now, Chael Sonnen in this who think comes out smelling like roses. He was according to Dana White, the ONLY man to step up and accept the fight. The fact that he is now being screwed out of it kind of sucks. Yes, he's coming off a loss to Anderson Silva and hasn't earned his title shot at light heavyweight yet, but the fact that he was willing to fight on 8 days notice says a lot about him as a man. I wish the UFC would have allowed him to face Jones at UFC 152 which now has Vitor Belfort moving up in weight to fight Jones. Chael Sonnen, I'm officially a fan now.
So in my opinion, Jon Jones wussed out. He refused to fight a man who poses no real threat to beat him, screwed the UFC, his fellow fighters and all the fans who bought fight tickets, paid for lodging and plane tickets. And with in my opinion was a weak, lame excuse. Jon Jones, I no longer will be a fan.