A guide to playing a complex blame game in the wake of UFC 151's cancellation
First it was an unfortunate situation, then a terrible one. Now it's just plain weird.
To recap: Dan Henderson gets hurt and can't fight Jon Jones at UFC 151. Jones won't accept a fight with Chael Sonnen as a replacement, which led UFC President Dana White to shift Jones into a fight with Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 and cancel UFC 151 altogether, an executive decision for which White blamed not only Jones but also his trainer, Greg Jackson. But then, hold on, Machida won't take that fight after all, so now it's middleweight Vitor Belfort stepping up a division to fight Jones in the title fight that fans have been begging for since never.
If you're not confused yet, you probably should be. I know I am. I'm confused about how Jones and Jackson came to be blamed for what was ultimately the UFC's decision. I'm confused about how Jones and Jackson couldn't see the upside of taking the fight in the first place. I'm confused about what must be going through Machida's mind to make him think he's in a position to pick and choose. I'm really confused as to how Belfort got the offer at all, unless the UFC was calling every fighter in the company directory and doing it alphabetically by last name.
Mostly I'm confused about what it all means, not just for Jones and Jackson and Sonnen and Machida, but also for the UFC and MMA in general. How did we get to a point where a 41-year-old man's injured knee could set off a chain of events that would derail an entire event, leaving both fans and undercard fighters with nothing to do and nowhere to go on what was supposed to be a big Saturday night? Who's to blame for all this? And, in the rush to point fingers, how do we know we're pointing them in the right direction?
With champ Curran sidelined, Bellator considering Freire-Straus interim title fight
TUNICA, Miss. – It's possible, but for now, it's anything but definite.
With Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran (17-4 MMA, 7-1 BFC) likely out of action until early 2013, the organization has given some consideration to an interim title fight between tournament winners Daniel Straus (20-4 MMA, 6-1 BFC) and Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (17-1 MMA, 5-1 BFC).
Ultimately, Bellator Chair and CEO Bjorn Rebney said it'll depend on the champ's recovery timetable.
Curran, a top-five featherweight, and Straus and Freire (who both rank among the division's top 15) have made Bellator's 145-pound class one of its most competitive. However, Curran, who won the title in thrilling fashion from Joe Warren in March, recently pulled out of a Bellator 73 title fight with Freire due to a broken orbital bone.
Chael Sonnen Continues Social Media Assault On Jon Jones
Sonnen has continued his campaign against Jones by taking to Facebook and posting the following:
I am no longer permitted to speak ill of the former champion Jon Jones as we have come to an agreement. I will stop tearing him down verbally and in exchange he has relinquished his belt to me. I would like to
read a prepared statement from the former Champion.
In every mans life a choice must eventually be made. Run or fight. I said I wouldn't duck any man as champion. But you are no ordinary man. You've spoken nothing but truth in your attempt to gain a title fight
with me. My last act of cowardness is to hand over what you would have beaten out of me 8 days from today. The UFC LHW Title. Now I must refocus my life. Good luck Champ.
Jon Bones Jones
P.S. I just ordered your best selling book, A Voice of Reason from amazon, I've been told by Greg Jackson that it will help me get through this tough time. Thanks
Light Heavyweight Attila Vegh, Bantamweight Marcos Galvao Secure Title Shots at Bellator 73
Attila Vegh needed less than half a minute to dispatch Travis Wiuff in the Bellator Fighting Championships Summer Series light heavyweight tournament final at Bellator 73 on Friday at Harrah’s Tunica Casino in Tunica Resorts, Miss. It was over 25 seconds after it began.
Vegh (28-4-2, 4-0 Bellator) clubbed Wiuff with an overhand right and dropped the hulking Minnesotan where he stood. The Slovakian pounced, battered Wiuff with right hands and forced the stoppage. Vegh, a winner in eight consecutive bouts, will next face promotional champion Christian M'Pumbu for the Bellator light heavyweight crown.
Two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Marcos Galvao dismissed Luis Alberto Nogueira with second-round punches and elbows in the Bellator Season 6 bantamweight tournament final. Galvao (13-5-1, 4-2 Bellator) finished it 4:20 into round two, as he secured a title shot against bantamweight champion and Nova Uniao teammate Eduardo Dantas.
With Belcher Injured, Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado Added to UFC 153
Less than 24 hours after Belfort accepted a fight with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones for the UFC 152 event in Toronto, Belcher is also off the card, revealing on Friday that he is injured.
“Everyone’s asking if I am mad at @ufc @JonnyBones @vitorbelfort answer is no,” tweeted Belcher. “this is a blessing in disguise. I have a spinal fracture.”
Although that sounds severe, Belcher doesn’t intend to be on the sidelines for long, indicating that he plans to return in November. He’s even got a target in mind for after he heals up.
Phil Davis and Wagner Prado’s fight at UFC on Fox 4, earlier in August, was ruled a dissatisfying “no contest” when Prado could not continue due to an accidental eye poke from Davis.
Davis and Prado will meet again, this time on the UFC 153 main card on pay-per-view, hoping to declare a winner.
Dennis Hallman-Thiago Tavares fight moves from scrapped UFC 151 to UFC on FX 5
Another change from the UFC 151 fallout is in the books, and UFC on FX 5 has yet another fight.
A lightweight fight between Dennis Hallman (51-14-2 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and Thiago Tavares (17-4-1 MMA, 7-4-1 UFC) will shift to October in Minneapolis following the Thursday cancellation of next week's UFC 151 show in Las Vegas.
UFC officials on Friday announced the change, just a day after moving three other fights from Las Vegas to Minnesota.
With Miller out, Sean Pierson now meets Lance Benoist at UFC 152 in Toronto
A day after Sean Pierson's opponent dropped out for his hometown fight at UFC 152, he has a new foe.
After Dan Miller (14-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) was forced off next month's UFC 152 card, Pierson (12-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) now will face Lance Benoist (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC officials on Friday announced the new booking for the show, which takes place Sept. 22 at Air Canada Center in Toronto.
Ken Shamrock Roughs Up a Woman (Thought She Was a Man)
UFC hall-of-famer Ken Shamrock -- one of the greatest MMA fighters ever -- has been accused of battering a woman at a California mall ... but Ken claims it was an honest mistake ... 'cause he thought she was a he.
Shamrock -- whose nickname is "The World's Most Dangerous Man" -- was hangin' out at a mall in Modesto, CA last month when he saw two women fighting each other in front of the Coach store ... surrounded by a group of lookie loos filming the whole thing...
Anderson Silva Offered to Save UFC 151
Anderson Silva was close to saving UFC 151.
According to UFC president Dana White, Silva relayed a message through his manager Ed Soares just moments after White announced on Thursday that UFC 151 was canceled after Jon Jones turned down a fight against Chael Sonnen. The middleweight champion, who admitted he wasn't in the best shape, volunteered to fight on eight days' notice in Las Vegas against another light heavyweight fighter. Unfortunately, he was a few hours late as the promotion had already decided to scrap the event.
Bellator 73 weigh-in results: Wiuff-Vegh, Galvao-Nogueira official for Friday's card
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
Attila Vegh (204.4) vs. Travis Wiuff (206)
Marcos Galvao (136) vs. Luis Nogueira (136)
Mike Mucitelli (204.4) vs. Matt Van Buren (205.8)
Ryan Martinez (264) vs. Mike Wessel (262.4)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
Chris Coggins (146) vs. Zach Underwood (145.6)
Jay Black (133) vs. Brian Hall (135.6)
Andy Uhrich (170.2) vs. Joe Williams (170.6)
Amaechi Oselukwue (184.2) vs. Kelvin Tiller (190.2)
Brian Albin (205) vs. Jacob Noe (205.8)
Cosmo Alexander (155.6) vs. Harry Johnson (154)
Castillo-Johnson, Roller-Volkmann latest shifts from UFC 151 to UFC on FX 5
The changes resulting from Thursday's UFC 151 cancellation continue, and UFC on FX 5 is the beneficiary.
Lightweight bouts between Danny Castillo (14-4 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Michael Johnson (11-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Shane Roller (11-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and Jacob Volkmann (14-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) have been moved from next week's scrapped show in Las Vegas to October in Minneapolis.
UFC officials on Thursday night announced the changes, bringing UFC on FX 5 up to 13 announced or rumored bouts.
UFC on FX 5 takes place Oct. 5 at Target Center in Minneapolis and airs live on FX and FUEL TV. The card is headlined by a heavyweight bout between Travis Browne and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. It is the UFC's first trip to Minneapolis since UFC 87 in 2008.
UFC 151 on Thursday was cancelled when light heavyweight title challenger Dan Henderson was forced out with a knee injury and, according to UFC President Dana White, champion Jon Jones turned down a fight against Chael Sonnen, who had offered to step in for Henderson for the main event.
Greg Jackson responds to Dana and the fans:
While UFC president Dana White was tossing several expletives at MMA trainer Greg Jackson during a special conference call on Thursday, Jackson was doing his best to defend himself on The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo.
White took issue with Jackson telling UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to turn down a fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 after Dan Henderson was forced to pull out with a knee injury. Jackson explained his decision process on the radio show.
"I was asked if it was smart to take a fight on three days (due to media obligations and weight cutting) notice, and I didn't think it's smart to do that," Jackson said (thanks to Bloody Elbow for transcribing). "Three days to fight a guy that caliber (of Sonnen) is not a smart thing to do. I'm not trying to ruin the sport or cancel an event. I don't know about that stuff, but I thought it wasn't a wise course of action."
Noke-Brenneman moved to UFC 152 in Toronto; Miller forced out of bout with Pierson
Kyle Noke will get an extension on dropping an extra 15 pounds, but Dan Miller will have to wait to put together a win streak.
After a two-fight skid at middleweight, Noke (19-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) was making the drop to welterweight to meet Charlie Brenneman (15-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) at UFC 151 in Las Vegas. But with that card scrapped on Thursday, Noke and Brenneman now will meet at UFC 152 in Toronto. And Miller (14-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) has been injured and forced off a UFC 152 bout against Sean Pierson (12-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC). A new opponent for Pierson is being sought.
UFC officials announced the changes Thursday evening, and many more are expected in the coming days with the cancelation of UFC 151, which was to take place Sept. 1 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Joe Lauzon Explains How Jon Jones' Decision To Not Fight Chael Sonnen Affected The UFC 151 Undercard Fighters
By now, everyone should be well aware that UFC 151 has been cancelled due to a series of events, starting with an injury to Dan Henderson and ending with Jon Jones turning down the one option for a replacement opponent in Chael Sonnen. But what some fan's haven't yet fully taken into consideration is the way that this impacts the fighters who were scheduled for the rest of the card.
Joe Lauzon wrote a quick blog that summed up what Jon's decision means to everyone else:
Not only has this screwed over all the fans that bought tickets, non refundable airfare, took off work, made arrangements, etc... but think of all the fighters. Fighters that put in full camps, flew people in that helped them trains, etc. By the time I am actually fight, I spend close to 20k between corners, flights, expenses, coaches, etc... and then to have the whole show cancelled because ONE guy didn't want to fight. This ONE guy that had trained an entire camp, who was the CHAMP and at the top of his weight class, who was going to fight someone who didn't do the camp, and was fighting UP a weight class.
Jones vs Machida II to headline UFC 152 in Toronto
Jon Jones hasn't been keen on a rematch with Lyoto Machida, but that's the fight he's going to get.
With Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) suddenly out with a MCL injury, leading to the cancelation of next week's UFC 151 in Las Vegas, Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) now will fight Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) for the UFC light heavyweight title as the main event at next month's show in Toronto.
UFC President Dana White on Thursday confirmed the news on a media conference call. The previous headliner for UFC 152 in Toronto, a flyweight title fight between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson, will serve as the co-main event.
UFC 151 Cancelled, partial tear to the MCL in Dan Henderson's right knee
Jordan Breen ?@jordanbreen
Dan Henderson has suffered a partial MCL tear, couldn't keep training through it. UFC 151 has been canceled. Sign o' the times, big time.
Jeremy Botter ?@jeremybotter
Dana says this is one of his all-time lows. They are canceling UFC 151.
A partial tear to the medial collateral ligament in Dan Henderson's right knee forced the cancelation Thursday of the entire UFC 151 card, which was slated for Sept. 1 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
UFC president Dana White said light heavyweight champion Jon Jones declined to fight Chael Sonnen, whom he proposed as a replacement for Henderson. That would have kept the show alive, but White said when Jones wouldn't agree to meet Sonnen, he had no choice but to cancel the show.
"I'm stunned," White told Yahoo! Sports Thursday. "We've never had a situation where this happened before, where a champion wouldn't step up to fight."