Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
After weeks of backlash and criticism, Jon Jones looks to rid himself of the UFC 151 mess once and for all by defeating Chael Sonnen on April 27, 2013 before turning his attention to Dan Henderson.
Apparently, the UFC 151 cancellation is a ghost that is still haunting Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones while Chael Sonnen seems to be a big thorn in "Bones'" side he can't seem to rid himself of.
In case you didn't know, the 205-pound kingpin previously turned down a last-minute fight against "The American Gangster" which would have taken place at UFC 151. Team Jones' decision to veto Chael as a late replacement lead to the cancellation of the event altogether.
And we all know what happened after that.
Names were called, money was lost and relationships were strained. So why, after all the backlash from fans and media alike, and after defending his title against Vitor Belfort at UFC 152, did Jones feel this was the time to go ahead and accept Sonnen's challenge?
Jones gave his reasons at yesterday's (Oct. 17, 2012) media conference call:
"My decision had nothing to do with finances. It had to do with just getting over this chapter of my career. I'm trying to move forward and do a lot of amazing things. And the UFC 151 cancellation, you know, it was a tough moment in my career and I think beating Chael Sonnen will help me. And then after that beating Dan Henderson, will help me to have closure to that whole situation. So I think this is what it is really about for me, just putting closure to the whole Chael Sonnen invasion of my career and the whole (UFC) 151 situation."
Though "Bones" says it's not about the Benjamins, it's safe to assume ZUFFA will compensate both competitors accordingly and make it worth the champion's time to accept the fight in a bout that is guaranteed to generate a lot of interest.
Before the two tango inside the Octagon in April of next year, they will go head-to-head as opposing coaches on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), which will see Jones and Sonnen groom the next crop of aspiring mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in what will surely be must-see TV.
However, beating Sonnen will not be enough according to Jones. He still wants to beat Dan Henderson, the man he was originally supposed to face at UFC 151. Once he has those two victories in his back pocket, "Bones" will be able to move forward and do more 'amazing things.'
How about it Maniacs, will a decisive victory over Sonnen and "Hendo" remove the stench of the whole UFC 151 debacle?