Dana White is not a happy man in the past 24 hours as he was forced to cancel UFC 151 as Jon Jones would not fight Chael Sonnen who was willing to accept the fight on short notice filling in for Henderson in a light heavyweight title bout.
White believes the predominant reason for this not happening has to do with Jones’s trainer Greg Jackson getting into his head thinking it would be more difficult then if they had the appropriate amount of time to train for it. White despite whatever excuses Jones’s camp may come up with believes an elite fighter should never back down at anytime.
He had some pretty harsh words for Jackson at mmaweekly.com
“Chael Sonnen accepted the fight with Jon Jones, wanted the fight bad. So as of eight, nine o’clock (Wednesday) night, we had a fight,” recounted White during Thursday’s announcement. “We here at the UFC started working.
“I was gonna do this call, and this was obviously going to be a much different call this morning, but the one thing that I never thought in a million years would happen, happened. Jon Jones said, ‘I’m not fighting Chael Sonnen with eight days notice.’”
The decision to not take the fight ultimately falls on the shoulders of Jones, but he didn’t make the decision without a consult first, and for that, White leveled some harsh criticism at Jones’ head trainer, Greg Jackson.
“Again, something that’s never happened in UFC history. A guy that’s a world champion and considered one of the pound-for-pound best turns down a fight,” said an exasperated White.
“How about this? He says I gotta sit down and talk to my coaches. His coach, Greg Jackson, says there is no way you take this fight. You don’t take this fight on eight days notice. It would be the biggest mistake of your entire career.
“Wow! Chael Sonnen is a 185-pounder, who wants to move up to 205, who hasn’t trained for this fight. The fight is in eight days, and he says he’ll fly here tonight to fight the supposed pound-for-pound third best fighter in the world, the world champion, and you have so much… I mean, how much faith do you have in your champion, in your guy?”
I personally do not agree with White’s stance on the matter and realize his anger is more based on lost business revenue… my IntheOT Podcast explains: