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The W - Sports that aren't Baseball, Football, Basketball, or Hockey - UFC 151 Canceled, UFC 152 Gets New Main Event
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Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69
What a crazy day in the UFC. To recap...

* Dan Henderson gets an injury, thus putting him out of next week's UFC 151 main event against Jon Jones.

* With the PPV just eight days away, Chael Sonnen offers to step in and face Jones, but Jones turns down the fight.

* As a result, UFC 151 is entirely canceled since Jones/Henderson was essentially the only reason the card was taking place. A livid Dana White has a press conference and completely throws Jones and trainer/advisor Greg Jackson under the bus. Fighters who were supposed to be the undercard also chime in bashing Jones for essentially single-handedly costing them a PPV payday.

* Jones is then scheduled to defend his title at UFC 152 in Toronto in late September. His opponent is supposed to be Lyoto Machida, who was the next contender in line to face Jones/Henderson.

* ...except now MACHIDA backs out of the fight, claiming it's not enough time to properly train and prepare.

* So finally, Jones' opponent in Toronto will be (of all people) VITOR BELFORT, who goes up from 185 pounds for a shot at the 205-pound title.

* Belfort was supposed to be fighting Alan Belcher in Brazil in October but that fight is now obviously scrapped, so Belcher will need a new opponent. There are about three other big fights on that show, however, so Vitor's defection isn't a major deal.

Whew. The big loser of this day has to be Jones, who essentially cost himself the respect of the entire MMA community for causing UFC 151 to be shut down and essentially costing his fellow fighters a paycheque.



"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
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J. Kyle
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Since: 21.2.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.57
Nous ne nous pouvons pas sortir.
Blame Bones all you want, but tons of UFCs have gone forward with horrendous main events.

They should've just thrown something like Bonnar/Griffin 3 on there. Neither guy really trains or cares anymore but you know they're dying for an excuse to do it.

(edited by J. Kyle on 23.8.12 1438)


dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 17 days
Last activity: 19 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.57
    Originally posted by Big Bad
    essentially costing his fellow fighters a paycheque.

Yeah, this is the bit I'm not buying. The UFC has enough events (and enough injuries to contend with) that almost everyone on that card will either just see their fight delayed slightly or they'll find themselves getting plugged into another card a month or two down the live to replace someone who gets injured. They might not get to fight on a card headlined by Jon Jones so the buy rate could be lower but blaming Jon Jones for not getting to fight on a Jon Jones card is an inherently silly argument.

I've got some sympathy for Bones on this. He should rightly be proud of the fact that he's never lost (DQ excepting) and that record is a big part of his commercial appeal. A really good way to lose that 'unbeaten' record would be to take fights at short notice, especially when the fight you're being asked to take is against a guy who's very different stylistically to the one you were originally meant to face.

Also....

    Originally posted by J. Kyle
    Blame Bones all you want, but tons of UFCs have gone forward with horrendous main events.


....this. Plus, if 151 hadn't been such a thin card in terms of draws in the first place it could have gone ahead by bumping another fight to the ME slot.
Caliban
Chipolata








Since: 18.5.02
From: Orlando

Since last post: 72 days
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#4 Posted on
    Originally posted by dMr
    really good way to lose that 'unbeaten' record would be to take fights at short notice, especially when the fight you're being asked to take is against a guy who's very different stylistically to the one you were originally meant to face.


I disagree. Jones has been training for a title fight, so him having to fight next Saturday isn't short notice at all. Yeah, he hasn't been training specifically for Sonnen, but Sonnen hasn't been training at all. On top of that, Sonnen wouldn't even get the chance to train since, as both Sonnen and Jackson point out, the last week before the fight is spent cutting weight and doing media appearances. So Jones could have had an easy fight against a guy that hasn't been training, had zero notice of the fight, and has been fighting in a lower weight class as recently as a month ago. Yeah, the odds were really stacked against him.
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 17 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.57
    Originally posted by Caliban
    Yeah, the odds were really stacked against him.


Not even vaguely what I said. I said I can understand Jones not wanting the fight.

Henderson's no slouch when it comes to wrestling but Jones' camp would have been focused less on TDD and more on staying the fuck away from Dan's right hand. If you were preparing for Sonnen you'd spend a lot more time working on staying upright and fine-tuning your submissions (although arguably an untuned submission game would be more than adequate against Chael).

Fights on short notice help level the playing field because, by definition, less time to plan increases the chance of the unexpected happening and usually that helps the underdog's chances. I'd still merrily bet large sums of money on Jones winning via brutalisation but there's absolutely nothing for him to gain by taking the fight. Win and people say you beat a guy who was fighting at MW a few weeks back and didn't even know he was fighting at all until eight days before the event. Lose and your unbeaten record's gone forever (to a guy who was fighting at MW a few weeks back and didn't even know he was fighting at all until eight days before the event). Dumb risk is dumb.

For Chael it's all upside* and he'd be a fool not to take the fight.

I could understand people being pissy with Jones more if he was actively ducking Sonnen but I don't think anyone's seriously suggesting he wouldn't take the fight if he was given a reasonable notice period. At least nobody sensible is suggesting that. Idiots probably are, but idiots say some deeply stupid shit.

*Except for the bit where he probably gets put through a shitload of pain by Bones, but that's kind of a hazard of his chosen profession.

Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.17
Fuck Sonnen. He only wants to promote his name as a brand, and the PPV would have been more wrestling-style monologues followed by a(nother) quick loss. If Jones has the choice to turn down that challenge, he should.

BUT he shouldn't have that choice. He wears a UFC belt to fight in UFC shows. If the Sonnen fight would be for the title, and Jones doesn't want to accept the match made by the UFC, they should take the belt off him.

Is the division that weak when the UFC can only find ONE GUY ready to to fight the champ? Machida doesn't want the shot? Give it to Bader.




"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
KJames199
Scrapple
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
I can't believe that Jones had the opportunity to fight an unprepared, out-of-shape, undersized, proven PPV draw who's not a fight finisher and turned it down. Jones vs. Sonnen with a week's build and a weak undercard would still do way more business than Jones vs Belfort.
    Originally posted by dMr
    I've got some sympathy for Bones on this. He should rightly be proud of the fact that he's never lost (DQ excepting) and that record is a big part of his commercial appeal.
Except undefeated or not, that commercial appeal goes away if he has the appearance of ducking fights, hand-picking challengers, being a spoiled privileged brat who cost an entire card's worth of fighters their paydays, etc. If nobody wants to buy Jones' t-shirts, that Nike deal isn't sticking around.

Plus, if Bones somehow lost to Sonnen (highly unlikely), there's a built-in excuse and a built-in jusitifcation for a rematch (which would probably do better numbers than their first fight).
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 17 days
Last activity: 19 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
    Originally posted by KJmes199
    Plus, if Bones somehow lost to Sonnen (highly unlikely), there's a built-in excuse and a built-in jusitifcation for a rematch


I wish you were right, but if he lost it would be "BWAHAHAHAHA, YOU LOST TO A OUT OF SHAPE MW!".

    Originally posted by KJames199
    Except undefeated or not, that commercial appeal goes away if he has the appearance of ducking fights, hand-picking challengers, being a spoiled privileged brat who cost an entire card's worth of fighters their paydays, etc.


I already covered why the "costing other fighters a payday" thing is BS. If you were making the rest of this argument because he said he didn't want to fight Lyoto I'd be right there with you. I just have no problem with him saying "fuck that" to a fight with Chael on 8 days' notice because there's nothing to gain and everything to lose by taking that fight. His case for not fighting Machida a second time is much less watertight though because Lyoto's clearly a viable challenger who he was (pre-Hendo injury) being offered plenty of time to prepare for.
KJames199
Scrapple
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
    Originally posted by dMr
      Originally posted by KJames199
      Except undefeated or not, that commercial appeal goes away if he has the appearance of ducking fights, hand-picking challengers, being a spoiled privileged brat who cost an entire card's worth of fighters their paydays, etc.


    I already covered why the "costing other fighters a payday" thing is BS.
It may be, but it goes back to appearance. If the public blames Jones for killing the show or perceives him as ducking fights, that hurts his standing with fans, sponsors, and the promotion - even if they're wrong to think so.

(edited by KJames199 on 24.8.12 1755)
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 17 days
Last activity: 19 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
    Originally posted by KJames199
    It may be, but it goes back to appearance. If the public blames Jones for killing the show or perceives him as ducking fights, that hurts his standing with fans, sponsors, and the promotion - even if they're wrong to think so.


I don't think we're a million miles apart in terms of perception, but I would say in twelve months' time chances are nobody gives a monkeys about this. Chances are next time Jones goes out there he beats the living shit out of some poor dude in spectacular fashion and nobody even remembers this happened.

ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.16
Hey, if you give the champion the right to decline a fight on short notice, you as a promoter are completely out of line when you proceed to throw said champion under the bus for exercising that right.



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supersalvadoran
Landjager








Since: 10.1.08
From: westbury, new york

Since last post: 12 days
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.75
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    Hey, if you give the champion the right to decline a fight on short notice, you as a promoter are completely out of line when you proceed to throw said champion under the bus for exercising that right.


Exactly. If Dana White wanted the match that badly, he could had taken the choice away from Jones. You can't just allow your champs to cherry pick which opponents they want to fight. That and the fact that the card was so weak without the main event leads me to put a lot of the blame on White. I know he's had a lot of bad luck with injuries to many of the fighters on the main events but if they didn't have so many PPVs and Fox/FX events to fill up this year, I don't think they would have such a problem having a card with quality fights all around. They should limit the PPVs to maybe 6-8 a year. Checking wikipedia, I see that they had 15 PPV events last year and already have 9 this year with 4 more planned (not including the cancelled one) before the end of the year. That's just simply too much too close (several of these events take place within 2 or 3 weeks of each other) IMO; it's going to lead to overexposure and a weak card at certain points no matter what.













KJames199
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 5 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
    Originally posted by supersalvadoran
    Exactly. If Dana White wanted the match that badly, he could had taken the choice away from Jones. You can't just allow your champs to cherry pick which opponents they want to fight.
You can't force someone to fight against their will. Every single person in UFC has the right to refuse an offered fight. Of course, if you're too difficult to work with, you might find yourself working somewhere else. (Being a star helps offset that.)
    Originally posted by supersalvadoran
    That and the fact that the card was so weak without the main event leads me to put a lot of the blame on White.
I've seen this argument around a lot. And while I agree that there are too many shows when compared to the depth of the talent pool, what would be a suitable replacement main event? In terms of star power and ability, Jones is probably top 3 in the company. Short of pulling in GSP or Anderson Silva (who actually volunteered, albeit after the fact), people are going to be mighty disappointed.
supersalvadoran
Landjager








Since: 10.1.08
From: westbury, new york

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 21 hours
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.75
    Originally posted by KJames199
    I've seen this argument around a lot. And while I agree that there are too many shows when compared to the depth of the talent pool, what would be a suitable replacement main event? In terms of star power and ability, Jones is probably top 3 in the company. Short of pulling in GSP or Anderson Silva (who actually volunteered, albeit after the fact), people are going to be mighty disappointed.


Well, my point would be that if the card was suitable for PPV and filled with fights that people wanted to watch, they wouldn't have to rely on just the main event to be successful. I mean they already had main events cancelled or altered this year and while people were disappointed, the PPV still went on and not much of an uproar took place. I look at this like I would a WWE PPV: if say something happened to the main event involving Cena just days before, they wouldn't cancel it because (rightly or wrongly) they believe the card to be strong enough without the main to get buys. I think that is way Dana White should had approached it as well. By admitting the card was crap without Jones in it, he also admitted that he didn't try hard enough to put a quality card all around, whether it was due to having too PPVs and other events or not enough name fighters. If the card had been good enough, having the Jones main out of it would have hurt the buys a little bit but the card would had survived and this wouldn't had become the fiasco it has blossomed into.















KJames199
Scrapple
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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Last activity: 9 hours
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
    Originally posted by supersalvadoran
    Well, my point would be that if the card was suitable for PPV and filled with fights that people wanted to watch, they wouldn't have to rely on just the main event to be successful. I mean they already had main events cancelled or altered this year and while people were disappointed, the PPV still went on and not much of an uproar took place.
Right, but again, Jones is probably a top-3 star in UFC. This isn't like the Calgary show (which I never did go to, thankfully) where they replaced a Jose Aldo fight with a Urijah Faber fight, and you could argue that the quality was the same (or maybe even better). People will pitch a fit about any replacement main event that doesn't involve GSP or Silva, and unless they're doing some sort of supercard, they can't put two of those guys on the same show.
    Originally posted by supersalvadoran
    I look at this like I would a WWE PPV
Which you really can't do. WWE sells way more tickets and PPVs just on the basis of the WWE name (and the Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble names). UFC varies much more by who's in the main event. Take Cena out of Night of Champions at the last minute, and you'll likely get a minor drop in buys. Take Jones off UFC 151, and you're losing hundreds of thousands of buys.
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 17 days
Last activity: 19 hours
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
    Originally posted by KJames199
    Right, but again, Jones is probably a top-3 star in UFC. This isn't like the Calgary show (which I never did go to, thankfully) where they replaced a Jose Aldo fight with a Urijah Faber fight, and you could argue that the quality was the same (or maybe even better). People will pitch a fit about any replacement main event that doesn't involve GSP or Silva, and unless they're doing some sort of supercard, they can't put two of those guys on the same show.


But 151's loss is 152's gain, right? So......I don't get the problem. Just out of curiosity, what do you think would've happened if Jones had been the one to get injured? Think Hendo would've risked his title shot by taking a fight on short notice against ::insertfighterhere::?

Jones is absolutely within his rights to be able to refuse a fight on short notice. The UFC is absolutely within their rights to build a PPV based solely on the drawing power of one of their top stars. But in doing the latter the UFC has to realise it leaves them wide open to either Jones getting injured *or* his opponent getting injured and Jones asking for any fight against a new opponent being put back.

    Originally posted by KJames199
    Take Jones off UFC 151, and you're losing hundreds of thousands of buys.

And gaining them right back at UFC 152. This whole thing is utterly ridiculous. Dana White and the UFC are trying to portray Chael Sonnen (who had everything to gain and nothing to lose) as a hero while casting Jones (who had everything to lose and nothing to gain) as the villain. Their very argument of "you don't knock back fights on short notice like that twat Jones" has been shown to be complete nonsense by the fact that Machida and Shogun (guys who did actually have something to lose, seeing as they had to work to earn a title shot at 205) both also appear to have turned down a fight in the aftermath of Henderson's injury.

Turning down fights offered at (very) short notice doesn't make you any less of a man. It's part of being a professional. Unfortunately it can also cost the UFC money, and when you do that they'll be pretty quick to throw you under a bus. They're good like that.
KJames199
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
Before we get further off-track, I will reiterate my main point - Jon Jones turned down a fight with a proven PPV draw who would be coming in unprepared, out of shape, and undersized - some who, on his very best day, doesn't have much of a hope of beating Jon Jones.

I don't hold Jones singlehandedly responsible for the cancellation of UFC 151. The undercard was too weak to support a loss of this magnitude, and as a whole, UFC runs far too many shows, risking overexposure and similar future incidents. And if Dana White had been more professional, I think there would still have been a backlash against Jones, but it wouldn't be nearly as big.

I do, however, think Jones made an indefensibly stupid decision.

If he wants to beat a name fighter, he will never again get an easier fight against Chael Sonnen. A prepared, fit Sonnen is a bigger challenge than one who didn't have time to train for the fight.

If he wants to make money, Jones vs. Sonnen on one week's notice with a weak undercard would have outdrawn Jones vs. Belfort.

If he wants to keep his Nike sponsorship, he has to protect his reputation. On the Observer board, Meltzer described Nike as being "pissed" and said "When the joke at Nike yesterday is that the only T-shirts of Jon Jones we're selling have to be in yellow, yeah, I'd say he screwed up."
    Originally posted by dMr
    But 151's loss is 152's gain, right? So......I don't get the problem.
Loss of PPV revenue from an entire event (unless you're going to claim that the audience of 151 and 152 were entirely different). Loss of ticket sales from an entire event. Disrupting the training camps of an entire card's worth of fighters. Wasted money on advertising. UFC looks bad to PPV companies and FX, who now have an unexpected hole in their schedule. Ill will with fans who had tickets for the Vegas fight, especially people who were planning on flying in to the event. Even Joe Rogan had a stand-up show scheduled for the day before the PPV but it wound up cancelled when the PPV was. Again, I don't hold Jones solely responsible for this, but whoever's at fault, this is a multi-million dollar hit to UFC, before taking the damage to their reputation in account, and the damage to the reputation of one of their bigger PPV draws (though like I said, Dana didn't help matters any).
    Originally posted by dMr
    Just out of curiosity, what do you think would've happened if Jones had been the one to get injured? Think Hendo would've risked his title shot by taking a fight on short notice against ::insertfighterhere::?
I suppose it would have depended upon the fight offered. If it was Sonnen, he's still undersized, unprepared, and out of shape. In those circumstances, it would have been a smart idea for Henderson to take the fight. (Though in those circumstances, I don't think Sonnen would have been so eager.)
    Originally posted by dMr
    Jones is absolutely within his rights to be able to refuse a fight on short notice. The UFC is absolutely within their rights to build a PPV based solely on the drawing power of one of their top stars. But in doing the latter the UFC has to realise it leaves them wide open to either Jones getting injured *or* his opponent getting injured and Jones asking for any fight against a new opponent being put back.
Agreed on all this.
    Originally posted by dMr
    Their very argument of "you don't knock back fights on short notice like that twat Jones"
All kinds of guys have turned down fights on short notice and are within their rights to do so. My argument was more that this particular fight was a stupid one to turn down.
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