Naturally there’s going to be some major fall-out from UFC 151’s cancellation. Most of that fall-out appears to be falling onto the shoulders of two men—Jon Jones and Greg Jackson. Dana White took the opportunity to bash and berate both men during this afternoon’s media call on the subject.
White had a replacement opponent lined up—Chael Sonnen. Sonnen reportedly stepped up and said he’d fight Jones on just over a week’s notice. When Jones was presented this option, he said no. White’s description of the events is that Jackson told Jones taking the Chael Sonnen fight on eight days notice would be “the biggest mistake of (Jones’) career.” White then teed off on Jackson some more, calling him a “fucking sport killer” and a “fucking weirdo.”
While Jackson took the brunt of White’s anger, it also turned to Jones. White seemed blown away by Jones turning this fight down and said it was one of the most “selfish and disgusting” things he’s ever seen. He wasn’t pleased.
Jones is no doubt going to catch all kinds of heat from loyal MMA fans. He already has a growing reputation for being arrogant and a bit of a prima donna. This will be the final straw for many fans. Add to it that Chael Sonnen was the other party in this. Sonnen has a fanbase as fanatical as anyone in the entire sport. There’s no way Jones will ever live down “ducking Sonnen,” as it will undoubtedly be called.
My own opinion on this matter is that yes, it looks very bad for Jones, especially considering Sonnen is so willing to do it. Jones sits in a position of power as champion, but that position also has responsibility. As a champion, fans have a higher standard. That standard generally means the champ will be expected to prove exactly why he’s supposedly “the best,” especially in tough scenarios. This was one of those scenarios.