Jon Jones has had to take a torrent of abuse after the UFC pinned the blame on him for UFC 151 being canceled after he refused to fight Chael Sonnen, but despite it all the light-heavyweight champion believes he still made the right decision.
Jones was speaking after UFC president Dana White had appeared to be cooling off on his anger towards the 25 year-old, stating during a sit-down interview with Ariel Helwani on Tuesday night that Dan Henderson also had to share some of the blame for the card being canceled due to the fact that he knew he had an injury that could keep him from competing two weeks before he informed the UFC.
However, Jones notes that the UFC boss has yet to apportion any of the blame in this situation towards the company.
“I had to do what’s right for myself by turning down that fight, Dana had to do what was right for himself by putting the blame on everyone else except for himself,” Jones told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “The lesson to be learned is, at the end of the day, you have to protect yourself and your family.”
Jones has a point. The truth is that the main reason UFC 151 was scrapped was that the UFC had relied to heavily on Jones reputation to sell this PPV card and had spread the talent on the rest of the card too thinly.
Jake Ellenberger Vs Jay Heiron was a dubious choice for co-main event as it was, and certainly couldn’t shoulder the weight of headliner status once Jones Vs Henderson was ruled out, and in general the line-up looked to be more suited to a free Fuel TV offering.
While Jones believes that the UFC have successfully managed to dodge much of the flak despite this, he also thinks that behind closed doors they will have acknowledged that this is the type of situation they’ll be aiming to avoid in the future.
“I think the UFC has learned a lesson of making sure they stay loyal to the fans and give them full cards,” Jones says.
If that was the big take-out from this controversial episode in the UFC’s history then that would be a good thing.
People shouldn’t be asked to fork out for pay-per-view events based on just one big fight. It’s something that Dana White has been quick to criticize boxing for in the past, and the organization has to be careful not to tread to far down that same path themselves.