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Jon Jones “carrying the cross” for UFC’s decision to cancel event

Polarizing UFC champion Jon Jones has endured the brunt of the criticism aimed at the axing of UFC 151 after turning down a short notice clash with Chael Sonnen. While “Bones” was only one of many parties playing a role in the card’s collapse, it appears he is willing to accept responsibility for the entire debacle.

Unfortunately, his admittance of guilt in the matter also indicated a lack of sincerity on his part much like a child asked to apologize to another despite not necessarily feeling actual remorse for a certain behavior.

“Carrying the cross for my company’s decision. If someone has to take the blame, I will accept full responsibility for the way UFC 151 was canceled,” wrote Jones on his Twitter page. “I want to sincerely apologize to all the other athletes/fans whose time and money was wasted. I feel terrible about the way that was handled.”

The 25-year old Jones came out in the immediate aftermath of the show’s cancellation to state he felt he had to do what was right for his family rather than outside influences such as fans, fellow fighters, and his employers at the UFC. With UFC 151 off the table Jones will now face Vitor Belfort on September 22 in Toronto.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

29 COMMENTS
  • darth_irritable says:

    This response really highlights Jones’ immaturity and lack of readiness to should the burden of fronting for the UFC.

    While I think he should have taken the fight (and don’t blame him for the cancellation – that is *all* Dana), this is a really inappropriate response, and will only serve to exacerbate the ire of those predisposed to hate. It’s an apology in name only, while smugly making it clear he views himself as above reproach.

    Also for those who hate on Jackson – I’d kill or die to have a coach half as good as him.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

  • darth_irritable says:

    This response really highlights Jones’ immaturity and lack of readiness to should the burden of fronting for the UFC.

    While I think he should have taken the fight (and don’t blame him for the cancellation – that is *all* Dana), this is a really inappropriate response, and will only serve to exacerbate the ire of those predisposed to hate. It’s an apology in name only, while smugly making it clear he views himself as above reproach.

    Also for those who hate on Jackson – I’d kill or die to have a coach half as good as him.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  • darth_irritable says:

    This response really highlights Jones’ immaturity and lack of readiness to should the burden of fronting for the UFC.

    While I think he should have taken the fight (and don’t blame him for the cancellation – that is *all* Dana), this is a really inappropriate response, and will only serve to exacerbate the ire of those predisposed to hate. It’s an apology in name only, while smugly making it clear he views himself as above reproach.

    Also for those who hate on Jackson – I’d kill or die to have a coach half as good as him.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  • darth_irritable says:

    Sorry guys – triple post thanks to gogo inflight :(.

    Guess it makes me 3x as right :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  • Dufresne says:

    I personally support Jones for not taking a championship fight on 8 days notice, however this “apology” does rub me the wrong way. I get that Jones is still basically a kid, but come on JBJ, don’t you have anyone to run your tweets by before you post them that could tell you that you’re coming off as an insincere brat? Honestly at this point I think you’d be better off not saying anything until your next fight. The general public has an incredibly short attention span and by coming out and half-assing an apology you’re just kicking the dust back up and reminding people that you had a part in this debacle.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  • Dufresne says:

    Oh, and “carrying the cross”? Really? That’s the phrasing you’re going with?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  • Screenplaya says:

    Now, I am torn. While it is plainly evident that Dana and UFC management are 100% to blame for the cancellation of UFC 151, and it also clear that Dana was a total d-bag about it in the press conference call, JBJ’s latest tweets are pretty bad. They come off as insincere and that insincerity is what I think most of the haters hate about him.

    I feel bad that Uncle Dana thried to throw him and Greg Jackson under the bus, but really, he should’ve stayed off the twitter.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    If UFC would have had a semi decent co main event they could have gone forward and moved a prelim fight to televised card.

    I am disappointed 151 did not go on as planned,but I don’t think it is all the fault as Jones. If one is already on the fence or just already a hater then this will only serve as fuel for that hate.

    Not sure why Vitor got a title shot as he has done absolutely nothing besides have a heartbeat and some impressive wins a decade ago. Should have gone forward with giving Sonnen the fight even tho he also has done nothing at 205, he is at least a known commodity and could effectively market the fight and also have a chance to win.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • darth_irritable says:

    The cynic in me says that Dana knows Sonnen gets destroyed by Jones, and put the only guy who might have a vague shot at a flash KO if he swarms Jones. His last hope to get the belt off of the gangly doofus.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Why the fuck should Jones take a fight against a really dangerous opponent he hasnt been training for on less than 2 weeks notice. There is no way in hell he should have taken the fight. All those saying he should are just being selfish, as if Jones should risk his career to entertain you. Its NOT his fault that the UFC have bitten off more than they can chew and spread the talent too thin for the event to go on without him and Hendo. It is NOT his fault Hendo got injured. It is NOT his responsibility to just fight whoever on short notice. It was NOT his decision to cancell the card. It is NOT his fault you wont see UFC fights this weekend. Its NOT his fault his manager turned the fight down.
    It is Dan Henderson and the UFCs fault, 100% their fault.
    Yeah call the best LHW fighter to have ever blessed the sport a “gangly doofus” just becuz his opponent got injured and becuz the UFC had put such a weak card together that it was cancelled.
    Listen, fighters have been injured before, main events have been postponed before but as far as I can recall no card has ever been cancelled. Jones fault? Fuck no and its stupid (really fucking stupid) to blame him for the outcome.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  • darth_irritable says:

    Settle down MMA. I call him a gangly doofus because I find him disingenuous and insincere.

    For a man who tweeted that he’s never turned down a fight and never will, to then turn one down, and top it off with this “apology” is a doofus move.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Chael shouldnt have even been considered. The whole idea is insane.
    This is a good thing. It says to the UFC “get your shit together and provide STRONG cards, not 50 weak ones”.
    The UFC brought this on themselves and I hope they learn from thrir mistakes.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I thought Machida (an actual contender) was the one that turned the fight down.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • uH Logic…in no way is this Hendo’s fault….he got hurt, training produces injuries and for a 15 year career spanning the globe with some of the greatest fights and KOs of all time, for him to pull out once(which Jones has already done twice in half the fights and a third of the career) I dont really fault him.
    I will however agree that this is the UFCs fault entirely, but the question is, was it more costly for them to go forward with a co main event that sucks(btw which was also due to injury, it was supposed to be KOs vs Ellenberger), and a semi weak undercard(in name value, if we all went off name value Bellator would only be watched when Alvarez, Chandler and Daley fought, but we all know Bellator is fuckin awesome) or to scrap the event rather than face super weak ppv buy rates.

    Shit happens, we should all quit whining and pointing fingers, it sucks, but it isnt gonna kill us,

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • raker says:

    There is an old saying in the entertainment business….”The show must go on” .. And unfortunately that didn’t happen. I don’t necessarily blame Jones for the cancellation but if you are the main draw and you back out, that causes a problem. I was a huge Jones fan but after his whining about potential opponents and then refusing to fight Sonnen, I’m no longer a fan. Belfort is my kinda guy. He mentioned being a Carlson Gracie protege that will just fight. I like that attitude

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    all this time i’m sitting here thinking, wheres Rashad at, wheres rampage at, wheres forrest, Thiago, Gustafsson, Davis, shit even chuck, tito or randy. where is anybody who at actually fights (or recently retired from) 205 who is willing to jump in and fight Jones instead of a fucking middle weight?
    i’d rather see any of those guys, deserving or not, fight jones. not Vitor or Chael.
    shit let Jones sit out for a few months, dont belittle everything by letting a MW who has no business being anywhere near a LHW title shot conversation, get a title shot.

    just

    don’t

    get

    it

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Just read that Jon’s PR manager QUIT on him due to him being too difficult to work with. That explains a lot about the phoney sounding apology. Jones likes to pretend that he’s an intelligent guy and a “business man” but he’s still just an immature 24 year old that is in bad need of handlers.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  • Sumoninja says:

    I think JJ should just learn to be quiet. It’s a whole lot easier than publicly navigating a Christ complex, LHW champion status, last minute opponent changes, and being 24.
    Dana should too, and own up to the cancellation, and he should pay all the undercard guys half their purse and tack the second half onto their next fight. Immediate problems for the fighters mitigated and respect gained.
    John Jones should’ve fought Chael for the same reasons. I respect the long term vision for his career that he’s got, but honestly he’s already making long term money. Do the fight. You’re a fighter.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    First off, while Jones continues to make PR missteps, let’s all take a step back & realize his actions & public response to this latest ordeal is nowhwere near the level of absurdity & unprofessionalism displayed by the president of the friggin company. We’re used to it by now from DW, so he apparently gets a pass.

    Anyway, I’ll continue to say Jon Jones is quickly becoming the Lebron James of MMA, in both the positive & negative aspects. Each has taken their sport by storm, prompting chatter of GOAT potential before they reached their 25th birthday. And I think both guys have handled themselves relatively well, given their status in their respective sports and the extraordinary limelight at such a young age.

    But it hasn’t been smooth sailing along the entire way. Both are sensitive guys who care (too much) about their public image, and are genuinely affected by fan reaction. Both have made major PR blunders, and dealt with serious backlash & vitriol as a result. I don’t think Bones has done anything as misguided as “The Decision” but with each new quote/tweet he seems to be digging himself deeper into his PR hole.

    Jones got unfairly shit on with this UFC 151 mess, from the president of the company all the way down to the fans, when the real crux of the matter had nothing to do with him (Hendo’s injury & decision to keep it concealed till the last hour; the UFC deciding to cancel the entire event based on having such a weak card and lack of contingency plans).

    You’d simply never see that type of behavior from a president/commissioner of any other legitimate pro sports league. So Jones was put into a really difficult position, and was basically going to be damned if he spoke, damned if he didn’t. But now that the dude has Nike in his corner, surely they can (and will) find him some better PR handlers.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    And I’ve lost count of how many differnt comments I’ve seen now along the lines of “Wow, Chael stepped up to fight on short notice! … Vitor has that warrior spirit and will fight! … respect!!”

    In a rapidly growing sport that has seen a similarly tremendous growth in financial opportunities, Jon Jones has reached the top of the mountain and can only be expected to do what’s best for his career he’s worked so hard to reach where he’s at. And he’s got very smart people in his corner like Greg Jackson who are going to help him make some of those decisions.

    Plus, there’s no reason to single out JBJ here or wonder why he’s acting so “selfish.” None of the other legitimate contenders were going to be foolish enough to take the short notice, ill-prepared risk that this opportunity presented, as they too need to look out for their best interests in the big picture.

    But you get far enough down the line, with the Chaels & Vitors, who haven’t done anthing to even establish themselves as contenders in the LHW division, and of course they’re gonna snatch the golden ticket with essentially nothing to lose anyway.

    This has much less to do with warrior spirit and that type of cliched garbage than it does fighters making simply making sound decisions as it relates to their MMA careers.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • Sumoninja says:

    The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” ? Sun Tzu.
    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Sumoninja says:

    Just to throw another spin on this out there, consider this: What if on Sept 5th the Cowboys refused to play the Giants because one/many of the Giants players got hurt the week of and they put in a backup(s)? How is it similar or different? I understand the UFC is to blame for not having a strong card and the decision to cancel ultimately lays at their feet, but JJ has a contract to “play” his sport at a set date and time, and he refused.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • king mah mah says:

    Jones should have taken the fight. I see everyone talking about how Chael is a MW and not deserving of a title shot. Well if that’s the case, then Jones should have had no problem accepting the fight and beating him.

    Why would someone need time to prepare for a guy who fights a weight class down from you who you think is undeserving? Did Randy throw a shit fit when Brock got his title shot? I know it wasn’t short notice, but if you’re going to say someone was undeserving of a title shot it’s gotta be Brock.

    The bottom line is Jones knew Chael had a legitimate chance of beating him and that scared him.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • king mah mah says:

    Oh by the way. Even with everything I just said, it’s still not Jon’s fault the whole PPV got cancelled. That is totally the UFC’s fault for not having a backup plan.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Richard Stabone says:

    MMA/UFC has blown up in recent years; the stakes are now too high for the old school mindset of taking any fight at the drop of a hat.

    And just because Chael is not deserving of fighting for the LHW title doesn’t mean he’s not a solid opponent. The GSP-Serra type of thing is always a looming possibility. Bad enough to lose a title that way; if it were to happen after agreeing to take a fight with only a few days to prepare, it would be the result of a completely boneheaded decision.

    In the big picture I think the UFC is fortuante the Jones-Chael matchup didn’t happen. In their haste to save the card (and save $$) it would have set a pretty ridiculous precedent — no fighter should EVER fight for a title without having won a single fight in that division. I know these were crazy circumstances and it led to this idea becoming very appealing to fans in a completely short-sighted sort of way, but it should never happen.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • Big Stank says:

    So Hendo shouldn’t get any of the blame even though he hurt himself 3 weeks ago, what gives?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • MCM says:

    “…no fighter should EVER fight for a title without having won a single fight in that division……”

    Like Vitor against Anderson? or Penn vs Hughes 1?
    It’s not really a precedent if it’s been done before.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    OK so are you arguing semantics or the merits of the basic point?

    Maybe precedent isn’t the appropriate term to use. But obviously the Penn-Hughes fight was much different than forcing Chael into a title fight against Jon Jones. The era of the sport, development of the UFC & divisional depth, etc… totally different.

    Vitor getting his shot when he did at Silva was dumb. But even was coming off a couple of brutal KO victories at MW in Affliction, then putting Ace away in round 1 at 195. Compared to Chael, Vitor had a wealth of experience/victories at MW when he got his shot at Silva. But yeah, that was still dumb that he got his shot so quick.

    You’re arguing semantics when the basic point is it would be ridiculous for Chael Sonnen to fight for Jon Jones’ belt on September 1. Forget the word precedent (you win that argument; nice job)… shoving Chael into a title match to save a poorly planned event would be a foolish, short-sighted maneuver that compromises the legitimacy of the division and UFC as a whole.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  • MCM says:

    Did Chael deserve to fight for the LHW title? Hell No. Even Dana White in his tirade against Jones and Jackson said Chael hadn’t earned a title shot. That’s not the debate. What I, and others, are mad at Jones about is that he refused to fight period.

    Jones was scheduled to fight Hendo for the the belt on Sept 1st. Hendo backed out causing a full blown shit storm to ensue. The UFC scrambles to find a replacement but none of them can be ready in time, unlike Jon Jones they don’t have a full training camp going into it. So they offer it to Chael.
    Now Jones is in a predicament in that he didn’t sign on to fight Chael. But he did sign on to fight. And he knows that the entire card is resting on him headlining (and if he didn’t he’s more of an idiot than I think.) But the fact is that Chael doesn’t deserve a shot at the belt. So what should he do?

    Does he say: “No. Find me someone else.”? No, he doesn’t do that.

    Does he say: “I’ll fight him, but make it a catch weight of 210lbs and I won’t put the title on the line.” Nope. Not that either.

    Does he say: “Chael doesn’t deserve to be in the ring with me. Find me a HW and I’ll test those waters.” Huh uh, not that either.

    Instead he says: “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.”

    Does Dan Henderson deserve blame for being the catalyst to how 151 went down? Yep.
    Does the UFC deserve blame for cancelling an event instead of taking the financial hit? Damn right.
    Does Jon Jones deserve blame for backing out of a card that was built upon his shoulders, since he’s the one that “reached the top of the mountain” and refusing ANY sort of change or compromise that the company that made you a star and carried you to the top of that mountain, is asking for in an extreme situation? You bet your ass he does.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

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