In 150 events, the Ultimate Fighting Championships have never cancelled a pay-per-view event. Fighters have dropped out, fighters have been injured, venues have been forced to change… no matter what was supposed to happen, the show was going to go on and Dana White was going to make sure that happened no matter what. Well, the UFC has had to cancel the scheduled UFC 151 after the main event fight fell through completely. The event was scheduled to take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the first cancelled event in Dana White’s 11 years as UFC president; previously, a March show was planned for Montreal but called off before a card was made.
Originally, Dan Henderson was supposed to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones. However, Henderson suffered a knee injury in training and had to drop out of the fight. White arranged for top-notch middleweight Chael Sonnen to step in (and step up a weight class) on 8 days’ notice to fight Jones. It seemed all well and good, but then Jones had second thoughts. Rather than take the fight on short notice, Jones dropped out of the fight entirely, citing advice from his training camp.
“I’m stunned. We’ve never had a situation where this happened before, where a champion wouldn’t step up to fight. Chael’s been out there talking all this crazy [expletive] about Jones, but he proved that he not only talks the talk, he walks the walk,” White said. ”I offered the fight to a couple of guys, and believe me when I tell you, nobody wants to fight Jon Jones on [short] notice. Nobody. But when I called Chael, that crazy [expletive] said, ‘Not only will I fight him, but I’ll get on a plane and fight him at Mandalay Bay tonight, if that’s what you want.’ ”
Jones will be head-lining UFC 152 in a rematch against Lyoto Machida on September 22 in Toronto, Canada. As for Sonnen, he is tentatively scheduled to fight Forrest Griffin on December 29 in his light heavyweight debut.
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