Dan Henderson, Jon Jones Pull Out Of UFC 151
UFC's light heavyweight Jon Jones, 25, will not be headlining UFC 151, despite his plans to go up against opponent Dan Henderson, who sustained a knee injury during training and had to withdraw from the fight just nine days before it was scheduled to happen on September 1, 2012.
Though UFC President Dana White, under the gun, managed to arrange for Chael Sonnen to replace Henderson on short notice, Jones declined the fight on the grounds that he had prepared for a fight against Henderson, not Sonnen.
"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."
Since the headlining event was, in effect, dead, White was forced to cancel the entire event, which affects 20 other fighters who would have also gone on the card. "I definitely apologize to the other fighters on the card," Jones said, responding to White's declaration that he was "disgusted" at Jones' "selfish" retraction. "I feel terrible, but it also wasn't my decision to cancel the whole card. I don't make those decisions."
Next up, Jones was scheduled for UFC 152 in a rematch with Lyoto Machida that would take place on September 22, 2012, in Toronto, but Machida withdrew from that match, also due to lack of training time. Henderson will now face off against Vitor Belfort, who immediately agreed to fight Jones.
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