The UFC held a media conference call today for a special announcement by UFC President Dana White regarding the upcoming UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1.
Dana White announced that UFC 151 on September 1st has been cancelled. UFC 151 will now go down on September 22, with Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida as the new main event.
Full highlights below thanks to MMAmania.com.
— “This is probably one of my all time lows of being President in 11 years. For the first time in 11 years, we’re going to cancel an event.”
— Henderson has a partial tear in his MCL and couldn’t continue. He tried to train and get back but he can’t. So they had to cancel.
— White says Chael Sonnen accepted the fight with 8 days notice, really wanted to do it and said he would fly to Vegas. They started working on putting the fight together and they were going to announce on this call that Sonnen was fighting Jones but Jones turned it down.
— White says a guy who is the 205-pound champion and one of the pound-for-pound best has never cancelled a fight.
— Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida has been booked for UFC 152 on Sept. 22, 2012, as the new main event in Toronto.
— White says Jones was hit with some options and knew the consequences of what would happen if he declined the Sonnen fight. He still declined. White is basically throwing Jones under the bus during this call.
— White reveals that Greg Jackson told Jon Jones that taking a fight against Chael Sonnen on 8 days notice would be the “biggest mistake of his career.” White is blasting that thought, especially since Sonnen was willing to fly out and do the fight as a middleweight.
— White on Jackson — “This guy is a fucking sport killer.”
— Unsure how long Dan Henderson will be out.
— “In the history of the UFC, I mean Tito’s been the most difficult guy in the history of the company since I’ve been here and Tito Ortiz didn’t not take fights.” Dana is pissed about Jones turning down Sonnen and getting the event cancelled.
— White is repeatedly banging home the fact that Jones is the first champion to ever turn down a match.
— UFC 152 will now become UFC 151: “Jones vs. Machida 2.”
— White is asked if this decision will affect the UFC sponsoring Jones going forward. White says he always hated it and he’s the wrong guy to ask about it.
— Regarding the plans for the rest of the UFC 151 fights that were scheduled — “We’ll figure it out.” Makes it sound like they’ll simply move those fights to other cards and proceed with them as planned.
— When asked how this changes White’s relationship with Jon Jones he simply says, “A lot.”
— Fans will get refunds, of course. White calls this a major blow for the company and they’re going to lose a shit ton of money by cancelling this event this close to it. Hence the anger.
— When asked if they had a stronger co-main event in place if they would have bumped it up and went ahead as planned, White said they had to cancel because of “where we are right now.”
— White continues to reiterate that he and Lorenzo Fertitta are both “disgusted” with Jones. Goes on to call Sonnen a “lunatic” for being willing to show up and fight no matter where or when. He was the only guy who accepted so they were going to make the fight. Sonnen was excited.
— Sonnen called Jones “a mental midget” and he would break him in a fight between the two.
— When asked if Jones turned the fight down because he might be too scared to lose his belt, White said he “doesn’t know.”
— There was no consideration given to moving the flyweight title fight to a different card. It will be a co-main event bout at UFC 151 now under Jones vs. Machida.
— “Good for you, Jon Jones, you’re rich and you don’t have to take this fight but what about the guys on the undercard? This is how they feed their families. They need this.” White is absolutely pissed about all the money this has cost the UFC to cancel the event because Jones refused to fight Sonnen.
— “I can tell you this right now, he ain’t turning down the Machida fight. If I get a call today that he’s turning down the fight, we’ll have another conference call.” White is asked what that means and he says don’t ask stupid questions. Sounds like he would just fire him.
— Jones didn’t ask for more money to fight Machida.
— “This is one of the most selfish, disgusting decisions that doesn’t just affect you. You just affected 16 other guys lives and families.” Man, White is taking it to Jones. Says this won’t make him popular to sponsors, cable distributors, fans, other fighters, everyone.
— “I don’t give a shit what Greg Jackson thinks. The guy is a fucking weirdo, man. Greg Jackson should not be interviewed by anybody ever again except by a psychiatrist.”
Full Conference call recorded by MMASucka.com