UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has come under heavy fire in the past 24 hours from the UFC brass and many fans for his decision to turn down a last-minute replacement fight with Chael Sonnen, and he’s now offered up his side of the story in an interview with MMAJunkie.
You can read his full thoughts below, but bare mind that he said this before it emerged that Lyoto Machida wouldn’t be taking the fight and Vitor Belfort would instead be his next opponent.
“Dan Henderson got hurt, and the fight was canceled. I signed a contract a long time ago to fight Dan Henderson. That’s what I studied for, and that’s what I prepared myself for. To take a fight with a different opponent in which I would basically have three days of training before traveling and then starting to cut weight I just thought would be the dumbest idea ever. I wouldn’t have been properly prepared.
I definitely apologize to the other fighters on the card. I feel terrible, but it also wasn’t my decision to cancel the whole card. I don’t make those decisions.
I apologize to the people that lost money on tickets and travel and things like that. I don’t apologize for my decision, but I do apologize for the way it affected people. I hope people can understand I was just trying to do the best thing for my career.
I’m moving forward. I’m continuing to work, and I’m working on transforming my body from great shape to phenomenal shape. My goal now is to beat Lyoto better than I did the first time. I want to be a better version of myself, and I’m looking forward to it.”