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The Champ Speaks: Jon Jones Apologizes for UFC 151 Cancellation, Says Fighting Sonnen Would’ve Been “The Dumbest Idea Ever”

(Who wants to take a wild guess at how Bones vs. Belfort will end? Anyone?)

There may only be a matter of hours separating us from the UFC/Dana White/Jon Jones’ decision to cancel Christmas UFC 151, yet it somehow feels as if every conceivable angle has already been pondered, publicized, and pettifogged to an exhausting extent. Fingers have been pointed in every direction; some say Jon Jones is to blame, some Greg Jackson, while others, like Cory Braiterman of MMAMania, feel that Dana White is more or less scapegoating Bones in an attempt to disguise the fact that UFC 151′s supporting card, and in fact many of the UFC’s recent cards, are kind of garbage ass, as BG put it (by the way, garbage ass is phrase that needs to catch on).

Throw in a clusterfuck of bitchassness in the light heavyweight contender pool, and we’ve been left with a “pound-for-pound great” fighting a middleweight whose chance of victory is apparently worse than the chance that you would be attacked by a circus lion in a convenient store twice. On the same day. In two different convenience stores. Seriously, Jones was only listed at -475 in a rematch with Lyoto Machida, and is now listed as high as -1500 over Belfort.

That is some garbage ass, right there.

But the man who has been caught in the middle of all this hate, champion Jon Jones, had remained silent on the issue in the immediate aftermath, likely until Team Jackson could draft up an apology for him to make (ZING!). However, in an interview with MMAJunkie last night, Jones was both apologetic and steadfast regarding his decision.

According to Jones, the matter was as simple as the name that was on his contract when he signed the dotted line. And that name was not Chael Sonnen:

Dan Henderson got hurt, and the fight was canceled. 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.

Jones also apologized to the cast of fighters on the garbage ass supporting card who were screwed out of a paycheck, but go figure, managed to come off sounding more than a little pretentious before all was said and done:

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.

I apologize to the people that lost money on tickets and travel and things like that. I don’t apologize for my decision, but I do apologize for the way it affected people. I hope people can understand I was just trying to do the best thing for my career.

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. 

Jesus Christ, Jon. Just say you’re sorry and end it. And know, I was not referring to you as Jesus Christ. Speaking of massive egos, Jones actually claims that if he were to have stepped into the cage with Sonnen next weekend, that would have been letting his ego get in the way:

If this was my first fight in the UFC and I really didn’t have a choice and they needed somebody to step in last minute, if it was that type of scenario, then I’d probably more open to it. But I’m a UFC champion, and I need to perform that way. If I would have taken this fight, that would have been letting my ego get in the way and not using my intellect. This is war, and you have to go in there prepared.

Chael is completely different fighter. This is war. This is strategy. [Ed note: THIS IS SPARTA!!You have to go in there prepared and know that you did your homework. I wouldn’t be the same warrior if I just jumped in there blindly and was cutting weight while I was trying to prepare for the fight.

Right, because it’s not like Sonnen would have been in the exact same position or anything. Then again, they say that in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king. What that phrase fails to mention is that all of those blind men lost their eyes in actual combat.

Of course, now that Jones has turned down a fight with Sonnen, the Chaelgates hath been opened, and dear God are the character attacks flooding in. In an interview with Bleacher Report, Sonnen referred to Jones as “a delusional brat” and took a shot as his businessman-like persona:

He talks of being a businessman?! What?! What risks did he take? What capital did he raise? Where exactly is his office located? How many people does me employ? Hey JJ, put me on the phone with your secretary… Oh wait, what?

But far and away the best insult Sonnen could muster came in the form of a Facebook message that we’ve placed below.


-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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coldbeer78- August 26, 2012 at 2:21 am
@ whoever the fuck contradicts Get Off Me. Don't you dare fucking argue an MMA conversation with the man that has netted me hundreds of dollars with his 1st parlay predictions. (His other parlays didn't turn out well, but his easy ones did).
Nippletwist- August 25, 2012 at 11:23 am
lol sonnen got submitted by sobral at 205. soennen cant hang with the best plain and simple its been proven over and over . diluded chael nuthuggers need to face reality, its just sad at this point to keep dragging the played out charade on.
ArmFarmer- August 25, 2012 at 11:03 am
Oh, I wasn't aware that he agreed to face Sonnen at 152.. very interesting. Even more so that Dana declined. This whole thing is just a massive cluster at this point. It just seems like nobody can agree on anything. It's almost like whenever on party will agree to something, the other automatically declines. Strange.
cecils_pupils- August 25, 2012 at 9:07 am
I'd like Chael to fight Jones eventually so that Jones can break his smug cunt face. I hope Chael dies so we I don't have to listen to his stupid mouth anymore.
boush- August 25, 2012 at 1:53 am
@armfarmer yeah the Belfort thing is pretty baffling to be honest. But my guess would be he feels he at least has time to prepare. A week is very different to 6. He did offer to fight Chanel at 152 but Dana declined. Everybody else declined so that left vitor. And I don't think jones was in a position to turn it down. So yeah he may very well have ended up with a more dangerous opponent but I don't think he had a choice at this stage. I do agree that in terms of a shock ko, victor is way more dangerous than Chael.

But sure this is all just speculation - I don't know shit except that this whole thing is a clusterfuck and can do no good for the sport.
ArmFarmer- August 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm
@boush It's kind of funny you're making points about an undeserving middleweight getting a shot at the lhw belt, how anything can happen in a fight, his legacy going up in smoke due to one loss, and all that.. considering he's facing Belfort instead. I'd personally much rather take my chances with an undeserving middleweight that has to rely on blanketing for 25 minutes straight than one who can turn my lights out in a split second.
MMAExpertNewb- August 24, 2012 at 10:47 pm
Kalib Starnes is kicking himself right now "Oh crap that's where I went wrong. I should have started running BEFORE I got into the cage."
ArmFarmer- August 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm
@getoffme Paulo Filho. For sort of recent examples of Henderson using his wrestling offensively, Rich Franklin and Rampage. I get what you are saying, and I don't mean to imply you are defending Jones. I just don't think their styles are different enough to warrant a new training camp.
Johnny James- August 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm
Shouldn't have given ancient Hendo the title shot.I have sensed that the old man will injure himself and blow off the entire card.Thank God he is off.Johnny Bones will whoop his ass anyway,now,he can whoop Vitor's ass
JohnyBonezNmoans- August 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I've been out of the MMA loop this week logging in 50 hours, but fuck!

Well put though boush I can see that side of the argument.

Still, i dont see why Jones and Machida have to be little bitches. And WHY THE FUCK did sonnen even get offered this fight in the first place? sum WWE politics or sum shit infesting the ufc and Dana's brain
boush- August 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm
I may be totally wrong on this but Henson and chael are friends and from the same gym right? Therefore it is entirely plausible to me that chael was helping hendo prepare for this fight against jbj. If this is true then technically chael had more of a camp to prepare for jbj than jbj would have had.

On top of this chael clearly knew about the situation before hand and used it (expertly) to his benefit.
I for one am glad bones refused as we would now all e bitching about the credibility of the sport if a person who was a middleweight coming off a loss was to jump straight into a second consecutive title fight purely on the merit of his mouth.

Lastly this is a business, this is jbjs job and one that can easily evaporate after just one loss. Bones has built his mini empire on being near invincible, what would happen should he lose? That all goes up in smoke real quick. An we all know anything can happen on fight night. I think to put all of that on the line on just a few days notice is crazy.
That being said, I pissed we lost the whole event but not sure bones should take the whole fall.
RwilsonR- August 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm
@ Get Off Me - I agree with you that Hendo and Chael have totally different styles, despite having a wrestling base. It is hard to remember the last time Hendo even remembered he's a wrestler. I've never seen him go for a power double-leg like Chael, and he doesn't even have a focus on takedown defense like Liddell used to. He's all about landing that right. He does a pretty good job of using that Greco leverage in the clinch, but I get what you're saying. Also - I understand you aren't making this point - but I still think Chael is less of a threat to Jones than Hendo, especially on the short notice.
RwilsonR- August 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm
@ Danga/Get Off Me - wasn't Jon Jones just bragging the other day about how one of the best records he holds is that he's never been taken down in the UFC? Just sayin'.
Get Off Me- August 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm
fighting style they are polar opposites. I don't suppose I come across clear enough that I am not defending Jones in all of this simply underlining a few misconceptions I see floating around. FIGHTING STYLE Hendo fights completely opposite compared to Chael, like Liddell did so well, Hendo uses his wrestling to promote stand up fighting...Chael uses his wrestling to promote grappling on the feet and ground. Yes they are both wrestlers, Yes they both trained at Team Quest, Yes they are both American, No they do not fight the same, saying they are both wrestlers who like to throw hands leads me to believe you think Sonnen likes to stand and bang with his opponents...When has Sonnen ever stood in place of trying to take his opponent down? one example would suffice. Again, can't stress this enough, not defending Jones here, not saying Hendo and Chael do not have similar skill sets.
ArmFarmer- August 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm
Sorry for the gibberish comment.. been trying to log in and post for like 15 minutes and that's what ended up making it through..
ArmFarmer- August 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm
getoffme, They aren't polar opposites. They are wrestlers that like to throw hands.. it's just that one is bigger, stronger, more effective, and actually has power. We haven't seen Henderson lay n pray because he actually has effective offense and power on the ground, unlike Chael. You're basically trying to justify Jones decision by describing how much less threatening Chael is than Dan. The only threat Sonnen has is his takedowns, and Jones has been training his entire life to defend them, and has run through a who's who of lhw wrestlers without ever being threatened with a takedown. Now he's saying he needs months of preparation to prepare for.. takedown defense? I don't think Jones has a single legit reason to turn down the fight other than that he can.
ArmFarmer- August 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Get Off Me- August 24, 2012 at 5:43 pm
Simply pointing out Chael and Hendo are not anywhere similar in their fighting styles, matter of fact polar opposites...not defending Jones or his decision. As I said before, he's catching a ton of shit for something he is only partially responsible for. Hendo was injured weeks ago and waits until 8 days out to cancel yet it's still all on Jones. Jones turned down Weidman as well, difference between Weidman and Sonnen, one guy will be UFC champ and let the fighting do the talking, the other will never be champ and let his talking do the fighting.
J.Jones- August 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm
@Get Off Me - I see what you're saying, but let's look at the facts. Bones is coming off a dominant win over former title holder/heavyweight and NCAA Division 1 wrestler Rashad Evans, and was preparing for a wrestler with KO power in Henderson. So clearly, he's trained takedown defense before, which is literally the only thing Sonnen brings to the table that could possibly give JBJ problems. And that's a huge POSSIBLY. So it takes Bones two months to learn to stop a takedown? I ain't buyin it.
Get Off Me- August 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm
@SethF and J-Dog
Hendo and Chael are not all that similar. When is the last time you saw Chael stand and bang with his oppoent and when is the last time you saw Hendo lay n pray his opponent? Look at how Hendo fought bisping and how Chael fought bisping.....Team Quest and high level wrestling are about their only similarities, both fight completely differently though.
RearNakedSpoon- August 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm
@VengeVega - Set it up and I'll fight him wherever you want (at your or his expense). I don't care if I won't last 30 seconds. He will never face the challenge I would be confronted with and no one is asking him to, everyone who was named as a replacement was just cannon fodder without their own full training camp anyway.

No one would possibly imagine Sonnen winning before transitioning to LHW again and putting in a full training camp. Even after that the chances are still low. But we expect the champion to fight anyone, anywhere and anytime. Especially when you are ready to fight that day.

Apart from his new bum chum and fellow primadonna, Anderson Silva, I can't see any other champion pulling this kind of bullshit.
ArmFarmer- August 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm
It is however good to see brock lesnar join the potato nation. "gorilla" screen name, uses the phrase "escape goat", stupid and self contradicting. Who did you think you were foolin you big dumb rhinocerous!
ArmFarmer- August 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm
Sorry gorilla, but we are fans not lawyers. Wtf are you thinking talking about contractual obligations in this discussion.. That is not what this is about. We are fans and what we like in a fighter and especially a champion is a guy that will take on anyone they put in front of him. Not some nancy boy that whines about preperation and game planning when he's already had a full camp to face a mirror image opponent minus size strength and ko power, that didnt even get a camp himself. Chaels stepping up in weight to take on the best of the best with no preperation to save the day for everyone, jones is being a sniveling little pompous bitch and shitting on everyones parade. Jones supporters: yes, hes not obligated to do anything, we get it.. Not the point. The point is going above and beyond the call of duty to make the show go on and prove to everyone that youve got balls the size of grapefruits. Thats the fighter ill get behind, and ironically enough, his name is chael p mothafuckin sonnen.
The_Dead_Cow- August 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm
I'm sooo glad Bones turned down Chael, cause now we get to be entertained by the epic troll job Sonnen will unleash on that garbage-ass champ.....Oh yeah, how is taking a fight with Chael on 8 days notice somehow worse than Vitor on 7 days notice?
Ringo- August 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm
Medium rare bitch!