UFC 151 Cancelled, White blames Jones

August 23, 2012

Dana White announced at a press conference today that UFC 151 has been cancelled due to an injury to Dan Henderson.  The bigger news were the comments White had for Jon Jones and Greg Jackson after it was revealed that Chael Sonnen indicated he would step in to fight Jones but the Light Heavyweight champ declined.

White was upset due to the fact Jones turned down the Sonnen fight and that he had to cancel the entire card.  He also had some choice remarks for Jones’ trainer Jackson.  Jones is assigned to fight Lyoto Machida in Toronto at UFC 152.  The irony of the rematch is that their first fight occurred last December in Toronto.

A portion of the headline of a UFC press release delivered after today’s press conference read, “Champ Jones Refuses New Opponent.”

Payout Perspective:

Who lost out more today:  Dana White? Jon Jones’ popularity? Greg Jackson? Nike?  It’s a definite loss for the company from an economic perspective and a blow to the company’s reputation.  However, it’s better to have 151 cancelled than to have a water-down card with a makeshift main event (assuming Jones would no longer be fighting).

Will the remarks by White which essentially blames Jones for the cancellation, hurt Nike’s relationship with new sponsor Nike?  Was this fair for White to call out Jones and Greg Jackson?  Should Henderson take any blame here?  Should Jones have taken the fight?

Jones is one of the top stars in the company, and one of the only possible mainstream crossovers that  could act as a bridge to an expanded audience.  But, White sees Jones refusal as an act of insubordination and we see how he deals with it.

Aside from the cancellation and the subsequent finger pointing, one has to bring up the injury issue once again.  Why are fighters getting hurt so close to big fights?  It happened to Mark Munoz earlier this year and Dan Henderson now.  Certainly there are other examples of fighters pulling out close to their fights.  It’s unfortunate all around.

12 Responses to “UFC 151 Cancelled, White blames Jones”

  1. BrainSmasher on August 23rd, 2012 3:31 PM

    Of course Jones is to blame. This is a fighting sport and like Dana said you are either a fighter or your not. Jones is no better than any other fighter who has stepped up and taken a short notice opponent. This was the ultimate show of selfcentered greed. HE could have helped so many people by just doing what he is supposed to do anyway which is fight anyone put in front of him. Keep in mind worse case senario is he gets upset and gets an immediate rematch. Instead he screwed the fans, the fighters, and the company who made him. This days after he said in an interview that he fights for money. He said something else in that interview. He all but admited he was going to cherry pick fights. This guys from day 1 has been a huge fake. From his “Get Fans” scandal to him turning his back on Evans a teamate to him not living up to the standards of being a fighter which he claims.

    Jones days are numbers and fighters who think they owe noone for their success is sadly mistaken. Jones thinks it was coincidence he got a dozen slow flat fototed wrestlers in a row. He is talented but there is always someone in the UFC who has your number. Vera was 4-0 in UFC. He held out and had to be replaced in the title fight. Since coming back he has 4 wins. 3 of them close tough fights and 7 losses. Pulver was 6-0-1 and held out. When he was brought back after many years of being blacked balled he was 1-7 under Zuffa. Some of the Pride fighters were given tougher roads than they should have got too. Point is the UFC can make you or break you.

    Like Dana White said he cant force someone into fighting. But he can say this is who you fight next or you dont fight at all and can sit. Jones would have no options. The biggest advantage the UFC and MMA have over boxing is they control the match ups. The UFC needs to avoid giving guys like Jones control over their opponents. Boxings biggest problem is fighters take the path of least resistance and protect their paydays and the good fights dont happen. Jones today cheated the fans out of an epic fights vs Chael and fight he should have felt was an easy

  2. jose on August 23rd, 2012 4:22 PM

    Of course, if UFC is smart they can turn this into a WWE style angle with the head of UFC trying to destroy his #1 fighter.

    Every Jones fight from now on has a great angle of Dana vs Jones. Fans will assume Dana wants Jones to lose so he can punish him.

    The fighter vs authority figure is an angle pro wrestling has milked for decades. It sells tickets. It sells PPVs. It adds drama. It attacks the casual fan.

    Now there’s huge drama everytime Jones fights. If he wins there’s the scene where Dana puts the belt around him. What will happen then.

    Maybe Dana makes Jones fight GSP at catchweight in Toronto or Montreal. Or Dana makes Jones fight Silva at catchweight in Brazil.

    What will Dana do to try and make Jones lose? Will he interfere with the Nike contracts?

    It’s a great story.

  3. carlos on August 24th, 2012 1:39 AM

    It isn’t ironic that the last Machida/Jones fight was in Toronto – it’s coincidence.

    Also “…hurt Nike’s relationship with new sponsor Nike?”
    and
    “White sees Jones refusal as an act of insubordination and we see how he deals with it”

    Neither of these sentences make sense.

  4. Jason Cruz on August 24th, 2012 5:05 AM

    @Carlos – It should have read Jones’s relationship with new sponsor Nike.

    Jones refusal to fight whomever was not liked by Dana and at the press conference we saw what he said about Jones.

  5. Jake on August 24th, 2012 9:06 AM

    The tide has turned big time for the UFC. They used to be able to put on any garbage PPV and expect 300k buys, if they went ahead with the card without the main event I doubt they get 50k. Lets see how smart of a business man Dana White is without a channel building up the sport and PPV’s 24/7 like spike did but never got the credit.

  6. Sampson Simpson on August 24th, 2012 1:59 PM

    That’s exactly my sentiment Jake.

    This ship is sinking FAST. I can see Dana’s mouth getting the brand in trouble and eventually getting booted off FOX.

    Once that happens, it’s over.

  7. Mike on August 24th, 2012 4:28 PM

    I have to disagree with you Jake and Sampson. Spike benefited just as much and it was much more of a partnership than you realize. Spike was nobody before 2005. Now, they boast 100 million viewers. Fuel TV is now seeing that increase in numbers. Read for yourself below and feel free to check their sources:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/dollars/post/_/id/575/fuel-tv-scores-early-ratings-hits-with-ufc

  8. Mike on August 24th, 2012 4:30 PM

    Additionally, White can’t get booted off Fox. They have a 4-year agreement. And trust me, FOX loves it. Their UFC on FOX debut in 2011 had a rating of 4.3 among the 18-35 demographic. I work in advertising…that is huge in modern television. That was a higher rating than all NCAA college football games the 2011 season with the exception of the Bama vs LSU game.

  9. Mike on August 24th, 2012 4:33 PM

    But I do agree with you Jake that if they put some crappy card, it would have had 50k views. But White said that fans bought a JONES Fight which is why he had to cancel when Jones refused to fight. I do appreciate the integrity of not forcing people to have to attend and pay for an event they did not agree to, and as a result were given a full refund for their tickets. Sadly though, this affects the other 16 people on the card that were needing a pay day. I can’t recall who tweeted it, but they asked Jones for some of his NIke shirts so he had clean clothes to wear the next couple of months since he won’t be getting paid for his fighter’s undercard match.

  10. Mike on August 24th, 2012 4:37 PM

    @Jason, I don’t think the UFC will take a hit. They did the right thing for the fans by not making them suffer through a card. And sadly, Jones won’t take a hit either. People will tune in just to root against him, and I bet his next draw (152) will attract more PPV sales than it otherwise would have, just so people can root against him. I’ll be checking your bluebook to see.

    I do think there is a chance that NIke may see the backlash Jones receives and may pull their sponsorship the first chance they legally can. If he gains a “quit” reputation, it won’t speak well for the brand.

  11. BrainSmasher on August 24th, 2012 7:02 PM

    I have a feeling that the UFC and Jones will come out of this smelling like a rose. I hope the UFC does but i hope Jones is punished. I dont think there was any fix by the UFC to cancil the event or to not allow Jones to fight. I think that is very real. But what i think could be exaggerated is Dana Whites outrage at Jones. Then again it could be very real and it is just going to play out this way by accident. Take a look at when Silva became a PPV draw! It wasnt when he was champ. It was when he started fighting like an idiot and pissing everyone off and Dana threatened to release him. Nothing planned thats just what happened. The result of it was Silva went from being the Rich franklin that some people like but most people didnt care about. To be coming the guy some people liked but a lot of people hated and wanted to see lose. He became polarizing and went from the worst UFC drawling headliner to one of the best PPV sellers. Jon Jones tried to play the good guy and people still didnt like him and he come across as a fake as we all see now. Not what will happen is the turn of event will turn Jones into a polarizing fighter that people want to see lose and will make him a bigger PPV success and the fighter than eventually beats him could be in for a huge following themselves. So this might turn out good for the UFC and unfortunately for Jon Jones too if he keeps winning.

  12. michael on August 25th, 2012 4:48 AM

    Two quick things first: from watching them I personally dont like JBJ and never liked G.Jackson. But thats ok, people are different. Second, I dont think jones alone deserves 100% of the fault, if the ufc cant back a card up…

    On the other hand a fight against Chael P. Sonnen, who knows, could have attracted maybe a higher ppv-share. Definitely with enough hype. But otherwise that matchup would have needed CPS to win 2-3 fights at LHW and Jones to remain champion long enough till then.

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