Jon Jones Issues Apology For UFC 151 Cancellation
"Carrying the cross for my company's decision," Jones wrote. "If someone has to take the blame, I will accept full responsibility for the way UFC 151 was cancelled. I want to sincerely apologize to all the other ahtletes/fans whose time and money was wasted. I feel terrible about the way that was handled."
As the story goes, Jones was originally scheduled to meet Dan Henderson in the main event of next weekend's UFC 151 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Henderson, however, was forced to withdraw from the bout last Thursday after sustaining a knee injury in training.
Former two-time middleweight title contender, Chael Sonnen, agreed to step up on eight days notice to challenge the 205-pound champ, though, Jones neglected to take the fight. As a result, UFC President Dana White announced that for the first time in the promotion's history, the card would be scrapped altogether.
In the hours and days following the news, Jones received mounds of criticism online from fans and fellow fighters alike.
"Can I at least get one of your Nike shirts?" undercard fighter Jeff Hougland tweeted to Jones following the news. "I'll give it to my kid since I won't have any money for her school clothes."
During a media conference call the same day, White announced that Jones would take on Lyoto Machida in a title rematch at UFC 152 on September 22. The promotion jumped the gun, however, as Machida later turned down the title fight. Published reports also state that former titleholder Mauricio "Shogun" Rua also turned down an offer to compete for the 205-pound crown.
In the end, it was former light heavyweight champ turned middleweight, Vitor Belfort, who stepped up to the plate and will face Jones at the aforementioned event.
UFC 152 takes place on September 22 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre and is headlined by a light heavyweight title clash between reigning champ Jones and former titleholder Belfort. In the co-main event, Joseph Benavidez meets Demetrious Johnson in a match to crown the UFC's first flyweight champ.