Jon Jones opens up on UFC 151 cancellation: I felt like a piece of meatPosted on September 4, 2012, 01:32 PM by Mike Searson
One week after the cancellation of UFC 151 due to an injured Dan Henderson and the Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones refusing to fight last minute substitution Chael Sonnen, Jon Jones opens up to Ariel Helwani in the attached video about his decision to not take the bout.
The Light Heavyweight Champion told Helwani, in the 41 minute interview: "I don't regret my decision at all it was a very smart career decision. There are a few reasons why. First, I talked to my coaches right away, with the whole staff who knows my game in and out. They know my preperation, my strengths and my weaknesses. They said there was no doubt we can win this fight, but I prepared for a complete opposite fighter."
Jones said that while Henderson uses his over hand right, shoots in and scrambles; Sonnen on the other hand is a southpaw who utilizes different punches, takedowns and ground and pound: "Chael is a completely different warrior and that is the main fact why I didn't take it at a last minute notice. It would have been extremely ignorant to take on one of the top 10 fighters on the planet. Chael has a 5-6 record in the UFC and lost his last two fights. Why would I put a world championship and my legacy on the line against a very dangerous opponent but one who hasn't even remotely earned the right to consider himself to be in the position to fight for the world title? That's like winning the jackpot and I refuse to be anybody's jackpot. I clearly said that I would not allow Chael Sonnen to jump the line by using his mouth. And what was he doing? Jumping the line by using his mouth."
If that sounded like an inkling of respect for Sonnen, it was short-lived: "It's like, why would I contradict myself when I clearly just said that I think Chael Sonnen is a racist? The way he treats Brazilians is totally uncalled for; I have zero respect for him. Chael Sonnen is a punk, he's a thug. He calls himself the American Gangster but he ratted out all his friends in that money laundering situation. That's not gangster. He's a straight punk. He won't be remembered. Chael's words hold no substance. People remember winners not big mouths."
As to his thoughts on the words of UFC President Dana White at last week's press conference announcing the cancellation, Jones says he: "I haven't talked to Dana White; I'll let him calm down then talk to him. He has his reasons to be upset but I think he has to realize that I have a reason too. I thought he would be more supportive. He thinks I'm scared of Sonnen. I'm not scared. It's about being smart. I felt really felt hurt by Dana. I’ve tried by best, my absolute best, to be a person who’s extremely nice to all the fans, whether they’re my fans or not. I’ve tried my best to always create positivity, always try to be a good dude, a good representative of the UFC. I do everything they ask me to do. You know it really hurt. It really hurt to be on that different spectrum. To be compared to Tito Ortiz. I don’t complain about money, I don’t complain about anything. I do what I’m told. I’m the champion that fights way more than any other champion. So you go from being really close, I mean at the last press conference, right after I beat Rashad; Dana was like 'don’t you just love this guy,' and now it’s like I’m just hated? Because I did what was right for me and my future? I just thought I meant a lot more to him. I really did. I didn’t look at him like a boss or anything. I just looked at him like a friend, a business partner. I just thought I meant a lot to the UFC and they made me feel like a piece of meat. Like a total piece of meat. He just completely bashed me out and my coach. It was just terrible, man."
As far as the cancellation of the card, Jones blames the UFC and his injured opponent: “A lot of the great athletes in their sports were hated. You gotta be hated, man. You gotta be. That’s the only way to know you’re really doing things right. LeBron James, people hate him. But the dude is still paid and he’s still a champion and he’s still happy, still has his family.”
When asked about the impact of the cancellation of the event on his fellow fighters, Jones said: "My job is not to be popular among fighters, I could care less if any fighter liked me or not. They don't pay my salary or buy Jon Jones T-shirts. My job is to show up, do my job and go back home."