BEHIND THE SCENES MMA ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
The Fall of UFC 151 – Point the Fingers at Someone Else
By Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester
UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Jon Jones has received a lot of flak over his decision to turn down a potential fight to save the UFC 151 card. Most of the blame now falls on Jones, who most consider could have taken the fight if he is as good as he says he is. However, in reality the finger pointing and the blame should fall in another direction… the UFC and its President Dana White.
Fighters have turned down fights before. This isn’t new but what is new is the number of cards that the UFC has decided to put out per year. This alone has created a fusion of possible mistakes that could hinder a fight card altogether. Because there are so many cards, the shortlist of fighters available to fight on short notice is much smaller than it used to be and this year has been notorious for injuries. The UFC has been picking names out of a hat almost all year because so many fighters have gotten injured. Look back at the last pay-per-view in Brazil. That card was nearly scrapped because of Vitor Belfort’s injury, and it was already hampered because of moving the Silva-Sonnen 2 fight to another card. Most would think that the UFC learned their lesson because of that particular incident in itself
While members of the MMA community, Dana White included, are blaming Jon Jones and his coach Greg Jackson for failing to help save UFC 151, no one is looking back at the past. Chael Sonnen claimed that Anderson Silva ducked him for years or you could look at the most recent incident with Middleweight champion Anderson Silva refusing to give Chris Weidman a title shot because he feels like Weidman isn’t ready.
All of this brings up a great question. Where is the promoter’s power? When has it become the norm that fighters can make the decision on whom they are to fight or not? It seems strange that the UFC, who is famous for not wanting to become like boxing is slowly allowing their fighters to make boxing like decisions. Joe Silva has been amazing at his job over the years as the matchmaker for the UFC, and he should continue his job doing such and perhaps in this situation he did. He put in front of Jones, Dan Henderson who bowed out due to injury. He called up Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua who both turned it down and at the same time called up Chael Sonnen, a man who just lost a title fight against Anderson Silva. Everyone knows that Sonnen can draw fans, but did he deserve to leap frog over other legitimate top contenders like Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira?
It all comes down to bad planning. Turning down fights happens, injuries happen but the more important thing is what the promoter will do when such things occur. The UFC showed a very amateur move by canceling the card altogether. While their biggest draw was the main event, canceling the show highlighted a sense that they didn’t believe the card had much merit or depth without its main event. What does that say about the other guys on the card? What does that say about the UFC matchmaking skills? All of the pressure shouldn’t be on Jon Jones. Is the UFC literally trying to make Jon Jones the Jesus Christ of the UFC, and now he has to die for their sins? It seems so, but it also seems undoubtedly unfair that the fingers are pointed solely at Jones and Greg Jackson.
Click here to for Jones’ response to all the Criticism – Audio Interview
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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