When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White announced he was canceling the UFC 151: "Jones vs. Henderson" pay-per-view (PPV) event, which was scheduled for the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 1, 2012, Greg Jackson became pubic enemy number two.
And his star pupil, Jon Jones, became number one.
That's because White revealed on today's media conference call that his reigning light heavyweight champion had flat-out refused to accept a fight against Chael Sonnen on just eight days notice, after his original opponent, Dan Henderson, was forced to bow out with a knee injury.
It was a decision the longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) trainer says he made in the best interest of his fighter.
Check it out.
"I was asked if it was smart to take a fight on three days notice and I don't think it's smart to do that. Three days to fight a guy that caliber is not a smart thing to do. I'm not trying to ruin the sport or cancel an event. I don't know about that stuff, but thought it wasn't a wise course of action. It's a serious fight with serious ramifications. I didn't mean to cancel an event and was asked to give an opinion and I gave it. I didn't know they had it all riding on one fight. It's one of those things...as a trainer. I'll give you my opinion. I'm not a yes man...I do what's best for my guy. I'm surprised by the veracity of his response but that's my opinion. In this case (of the short notice fight), it's a world title fight in the best sport in the world on three days notice. This isn't backyard brawling...it's a professional sport. I think Chael is brilliant. He circumvented an entire division...went right from Anderson (Silva) to Jon. It's brilliant...he's got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I'm always impressed by him."
With UFC 151 vaporized, Jones will now defend his 205-pound title at UFC 152 in a rematch against former division kingpin Lyoto Machida, who first succumbed to "Bones" in the second round of the UFC 140: "Jones vs. Machida" PPV back in late December.
But Jackson also tells Tim Marchman "Bones" would be happy to fight Sonnen instead of "The Dragon," if the promotion wants to sign that bout for the Sept. 22 fight card in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Anyone think his offer is too little, too late?
This thing is a mess, any way you slice it.