UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has remained in the background throughout the day as his name is dragged through the mud by everyone from UFC president Dana White, to fellow fighters, to MMA fans. Now, Jones has decided to offer up his side of the story.
White announced earlier in the day on Thursday that UFC 151 would be cancelled, a result of Jones not accepting a fight with Chael Sonnen. Dan Henderson, the original opponent for Jones, was forced out with an injury. “Bones” decided that fighting Sonnen on short notice wasn’t right for him, and declined the bout.
“Dan Henderson got hurt, and the fight was canceled,” Jones told MMAjunkie.com. “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.”
The decision to cancel the card completely obviously caused a great deal of uproar by the other fighters who were planning to compete on September 1. Jones did offer up an apology to those affected.
“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,” Jones said. “I take a lot of pride in the way I perform, and I want to put on the best performance possible every time I fight. I don’t want to go out there just to win the fight; I want to go out there to dominate. I want to make it look effortless. I want it to be a beautiful thing.”
Jones will have a chance to defend his title for a fourth time on September 22 when he faces Lyoto Machida at UFC 152: Jones vs. Machida II. Jones submitted Machida late in 2011 in the second round via standing guillotine choke.