Jon Jones defends the decision not to fight at UFC 151Posted on August 25, 2012, 11:02 AM by Anton Gurevich
Reigning UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Jon "Bones" Jones has officially defended his decision to decline the fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151. Sonnen was offered to Jones as a replacement for Dan Henderson, who has injured his right knee in training.
Jones' decision to decline the fight forced the Ultimate Fighting Championship to cancel the whole card, which put the young champ under a barrage of criticism. But according to Jones, it's all about making the right choice:
"I definitely apologize to the other fighters on the card," Jones said. "I feel terrible, but it also wasn't my decision to cancel the whole card. I don't make those decisions.
Greg Jackson wasn't going to show up until Friday. Coach (Mike) Winkeljohn wasn't going to be there until Wednesday or Thursday. I would have been pretty much on my own trying to prepare for a new opponent. That's just not the best way to prepare.
If this was my first fight in the UFC and I really didn't have a choice and they needed somebody to step in last-minute, if it was that type of scenario, then I'd probably more open to it," Jones said. "But I'm a UFC champion, and I need to perform that way. If I would have taken this fight, that would have been letting my ego get in the way and not using my intellect. This is war, and you have to go in there prepared."
Jones also stated that he considers Chael Sonnen a completely different fighter than Henderson. In contrast to those comments, UFC President Dana White stated in his recent interview with ESPN that Sonnen and Henderson are "exactly the same guy". According to White, if Jon Jones considers himself the best 205'er on the planet, he shouldn't be worried about fighting out-of-shape middleweight.