As expected, UFC President Dana White announced on a media call Thursday that Dan Henderson was forced to withdraw from September 1’s UFC 151 fight with Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones due to a knee injury.
What was less expected: UFC is cancelling that event and will move Jon Jones’ title defense to the September 22 show in Toronto, which was originally to be called UFC 152. That event, now to be called UFC 151, will feature Jones defending against number one contender Lyoto Machida.
What was nothing short of mind-blowing: White says the reason UFC 151 was cancelled was Jones’ refusal to take a fight with proposed replacement Chael Sonnen on short notice. White says that Sonnen agreed to fight Jones on such limited notice, but Jones, after reviewing with his camp, decided to decline the fight and wait until September 22 for a bout with Machida.
In discussing Jones’ thought process, White attributed some of the blame to the champion’s coach Greg Jackson, who allegedly advised that accepting the bout on such short notice would be the biggest mistake of his career.
“Greg Jackson is a fucking sport killer,” said White. “This guy’s from another planet.”
White explained that Jones is the first champion he can recall to reject a replacement for a scheduled title bout. He said that the situation changes his relationship with Jon Jones “a lot.”
White and UFC had not yet determined what will happen to the fights scheduled for the UFC 151 undercard.