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UFC's Greg Jackson defends Jon Jones' refusal to fight Chael Sonnen

August 24, 2012|By Houston Mitchell and Lance Pugmire
  • Jon Jones promotes a fight in April.
Jon Jones promotes a fight in April. (Scott Cunningham / Getty…)

When Jon Jones rejected an order to fight the UFC's suggested injury-replacement fighter, Chael Sonnen, UFC took the unprecedented step of canceling its entire UFC 151 card, scheduled for Sept. 1 in Las Vegas. UFC officials placed the blame for the cancellation entirely on Jones.

"This is probably one of my all-time lows as being president of UFC," Dana White said.

Jones' scheduled opponent, Dan Henderson of Temecula, tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during training and was unable to resume preparations after visiting a doctor.

White wanted to insert Sonnen, the brash former middleweight challenger who lost via second-round technical knockout to champion Anderson Silva on July 7.

White quoted Jones as telling the president, "I'm not fighting Chael Sonnen with eight days' notice," and said Jones' trainer, Greg Jackson, advised that taking on Sonnen "would be the biggest mistake of" Jones' life. Jackson, said White, "is a sport killer."

Jackson fired back Friday, telling, "It was actually three days notice; it's not eight days' notice because you don't train the last week of a fight camp. That's when you do media and weight cutting; there's no real training going on there. When I was asked if fighting Sonnen for a world title on three days' notice was a smart idea, I said no.

"Chael is in a great position in that he'd been training with Dan Henderson for this fight, getting him ready, and he's in shape. He knows the plan on what they're going to do to get around Jon. So he's ready to go. It's not like he's stepping off the couch and into a fight. So taking a fight of that caliber with a guy that's ready, on three days' notice, for a world championship, without any time to prepare, is just not professional to me."

So, did Jones do the right thing in refusing to fight Sonnen? Vote in our poll and let us know your thoughts.


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