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Jon Jones: “Being the champ wasn’t given to me. I don’t owe anybody, anything.”

As he’s made clear, UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones doesn’t feel like he deserves all of the blame for the cancellation of UFC 151. In fact, if Jones was given a chance to change things, he’s said he would still turn down a short-notice fight with Chael Sonnen regardless of how his employers, peers, and MMA fans in general reacted to the decision.

“I had to do what’s right for myself by turning down that fight,” Jones said, in a recent interview with the Associated Press. “Dana (White) had to do what was right for himself by putting the blame on everyone else except for himself. The lesson to be learned is, at the end of the day, you have to protect yourself and your family.”

Jones was hit from all sides by his decision, as fellow fighters and White ripped into him. The 25-year old was originally set to face Dan Henderson but a knee injury knocked “Hendo” out of the fight. Sonnen was the lone fighter willing to take the bout on just a few days notice.

“I’ve been dealing with a lot of controversy,” Jones said. “A lot of insults right now. People tell me, ‘You’re the champ, you’ve got to take the fight.’ Being the champ wasn’t given to me. I don’t owe anybody, anything.”

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

10 COMMENTS
  • For your title, no Jon you dont owe us anything…For the fact that you’ve made millions of dollars and the fact that the company is pissed at you due to the money they could’ve made off of your name, you owe the fans everything, otherwise that title you hold wouldnt mean ANYTHING if we didnt want to see you defend it…
    which we do.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Jones needs to shut the fuck up already. This is gonna ruin his career. if he loses his belt I dont picture them giving him a title shot unless he really really earns it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    I don’t get the hate for Jones on this. Why should he hand a title shot to Sonnen of all people? Be pissed at Machida or Rua, or Dana for not giving him Gustafson or someone with some kind of legit claim to a title shot at 205. Why Sonnen, other than his mouth? Screw that, Hendo is the one that kept the injury a secret for so long. I would prefer less time between the announcement of a fight and fight night. These guys should be trained to fight anyone at any time. It makes for more exciting, unpredictable fights, so many fight buildups aren’t ruined by injury, it negates the specific gameplanning a bit, they need to cut it down to no more than a month. Ask, who is ready to fight this month, okay, match them up and do it. It hasn’t been an uptick in training injuries, just more time hyping and building up fights when all sorts of things can ruin them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 11

  • darth_irritable says:

    Daddy //lol // – Whether you agree with my opinion or not, I think the issue is that he turned down a short notice fight with the biggest gimme the UFC could have found for him, and still sold seats. After the way he handled Bader, no way ol’ pillow hands beats him.

    It’s not fair to blame him for the event being canceled, but I do think he should have taken that fight, made some easy money, especially since he said in yesterday’s interview that the first thing his coaches told him was that he could absolutely win the Sonnen fight.

    The major issue now though, is his constant opening his mouth and inserting foot.

    On the Hendo* side. I get the frustration – but as a fighter, that WAS a good move. He didn’t know if he’d be out long, thought it was shorter and played it safe. As soon as he told the UFC and they started looking for a backup or replacement, how long do you think until Jones finds out, and they start working out how to exploit the injury? Yeah, some blame has to be attached to Dan, but it’s understandable.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  • raker says:

    What a shitty attitude. I worked my ass off, went to school and earned everything that I have too. Do I owe anyone anything? Yes! I owe it to my employer to use the skills that I have to help myself and the organization succeed. Same thing for JBJ.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

  • Richard Stabone says:

    No need to rehash all the stuff about Hendo’s injury and the UFC’s decision to cancel UFC 151. It’s old news and been beaten to death. But I find it pretty amazing that Jon Jones has somehow failed to live up to fan expectations…or somehow owes us more…or whatever other spin you want to put on it.

    Jones debuted with the UFC in August 2008 and was set for his 12th fight before Hendo pulled out. During that same period (i.e. since mid-2008) other champions like Silva and GSP have fought 9 times and 6 times, respectively.

    Some of Silva’s fights have been crapfests (Cotes, Leites, Maia) and GSP, while dominant, has gone to the judges’ score cards 5 of his last 6 fights. Jones has not only torn thru his competition virtually unchallenged, no one can accuse him of being involved in boring fights either.

    So I mean, really, if you cut thru the bullshit I think as fans of the sport we should want to see guys that are a) ready & able to fight often, and b) skilled fighters who are involved in exciting bouts. Jones over-delivers on all counts.

    That he expects–as a professional fighter–to compete under contractual agreements, refusing to take anything for granted with the career & legacy he’s building, has left many pairs of undies in a bunch. We’re fans…we want to be entertained…why should we give a flying fluff about a millionaire’s career if it gets in the way of our own entertainment?! And that’s why Jones needs to continue to learn to not give a shite about the wacky, fickle nature of fans.

    I’ll continue to say I think this entire ordeal could help Jones in terms of drawing power and overall fan interest. Good guy, bad guy, the money rolls in either way. Just don’t get stuck in the middle, where you’re lukewarm to fans, which is where it seemed Jones was starting to slip into before this latest shitstorm. Fans just need to care … whether or not they like him doesn’t matter. Much better to be Michael Bisping than Tim Boetsch.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. The best thing for Jones and Dana and the UFC to do is to just stop talking about 151, fly under the radar and then just talk about 152, let people forget about it happening, if it’s kept being brought up, people will keep being upset.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  • THEGUNNER says:

    I wonder if they have a choice when they sign the 3 fight a year contract. Like can someone want a I only want a scheduled fight clause or axn the ufc just say your up and send u in. im thunking the vitor vs jbj was not anyones choice but under contract the have to fight they should have to stick to the comtract.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Eh, I don’t think fans being upset is hurting anything. It mostly just keeps people talking about the UFC and eventually the negative vibes will fade.
     
    Like everyone else I was disappointed there was no UFC event to watch on Labor Day weekend, but the real bummer was Hendo pulling out due to injury.
     
    Ideally Hendo would have let the cat out of the bag early on, and with a few weeks to explore fallback options rather than a few days, there’s no doubt in my mind the event would have gone on.
     
    But with Hendo keeping it under wraps, they really couldn’t save that event in a legitimate way. My vote would have been to let everything run its course minus the main event, compensating the fighters as stated in their contracts, and the UFC eating the costs/lost revenue associated with a bombed PPV event. In other words, the UFC dealing with the consequences of its own poor planning.
     
    While it was a bummer not having UFC to watch that weekend, my main interest is seeing a good title fight.
     
    A) Jones vs. a poorly conditioned Chael
     
    B) Jones vs. Vitor on about a month’s notice
     
    Both options suck, but option B is the much lesser of evils, so I’m not really sure why people are still upset. Other than the fact we don’t like Jon Jones, obviously.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  • Frankmur says:

    An event should not fall on a single fight! As a fan I enjoy the quantity of events but I think there is truth that the UFC now has too many events and is sacrificing quality of big name fights for quantity. Some of the blame has to go to Zuffa management; there should always be more then one promotable fight per card but that is getting harder due to a heavier schedule and more injuries. I think too much of the blame is put on Jones

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

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