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.