Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports that Lyoto Machida has turned down a title fight with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 152 on September 22, 2012 from Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Vitor Belfort, who was scheduled to face Alan Belcher at UFC 153 on October 13, 2012, will now face Jones for the championship at the event.
The development caps a wild day that saw Dan Henderson withdraw from his main event fight with Jones at next week’s UFC 151 event due to a partially torn knee MCL in his knee. After Jones refused to face Chael Sonnen on short notice, the event was cancelled altogether.
“Chael Sonnen accepted the fight,” White said during a media conference call earlier today. “Not only did he take the fight, he said I’d fly to Las Vegas (Wednesday night) and fight him. Jon Jones said I’m not fighting Chael Sonnen with eight days notice. Something like this has never happened in UFC history.
“For the first time in 11 years, we have to cancel an event,” White added.
Belfort last fought at lighSt heavyweight at Cage Rage 23 on September 22, 2007, where he defeated James Zikic to become the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Champion.