UFC dodged major bullet with Jon Jones' unpopular decision

Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Jon Jones reacts to beating Rashad Evans in the main event and light heavyweight title bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. Jon Jones won the bout by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

The mixed martial arts (MMA) world is currently in an uproar over Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones' controversial decision to decline a fight with would-be replacement Chael Sonnen, after "Bones'" original opponent, Dan Henderson, had to withdraw from the UFC 151 headline fight due to a tear in his MCL.

Jones is getting absolutely killed for his decision. He's been called a coward. He's been ripped for costing other fighters a payday. He even appears to be on UFC President Dana White's crap list (though we all know that won't last long).

I have no intention of defaming or defending Jones. That horse has been ridden into the ground, buried, dug back up again and had a tail pinned on it. We've been there. We've done that.

They say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, and I'm telling you Maniacs -- this was a gift.

No. I haven't been drinking (much), and I'm not crazy. But, I'm telling you that the UFC dodged a major bullet when UFC 151 was cancelled.

Hear me out.

As previously mentioned, "Bones" is being absolutely crucified for his decision. The inference being made is that it's all his fault that UFC 151 was cancelled.

Because of Jon Jones, Daron Cruickshank's cat won't be able to eat, Jeff Hougland's kid won't be able to afford new clothes for school, and Charlie Brenneman very nearly was unable to pay his rent.

And it's all Jones' fault. He's the bad guy.

What many people are unfortunately glancing over casually is the absurdity of the event having to be cancelled over one fight biting the dust.

This is not the first time "Uncle Dana" and the UFC brass have had a giant turd dropped on their heads, with little time to fix a major pay-per-view (PPV) event.

But the show went on. They found a way.

This time it was different, and here's why: UFC 151 was not a very good card.

It just wasn't. Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron was the co-main event! Do we need to keep running down the list? Because we totally can.

Were there a few potentially exciting fights? Sure. And there's always one or two fights that come out of nowhere that end up being fantastic. But, overall, this whole card was full of fights that would have been preliminary fights on almost any other card.

Be serious. Tell me you were stoked about Dennis Hallman vs Thiago Tavares. Try and convince me you were amped up about Tim Means vs. Abel Trujillo.

You can't do it. Not with a straight face, anyway.

So, that's why I say the UFC actually got lucky when "Hendo's" knee bit the dust. Jones could have gone in and pummeled "Dangerous Dan" in spectacular fashion. Henderson could have pulled off a magnificent upset and shocked the world by taking home the belt.

But if the rest of the card sucked, and we all paid $50 (at least) to watch it, on Monday, all you would have heard would have been complaints and comments condemning Dana White for "ripping off the fans," yet again.

Instead, the fans end up with a much more solid UFC 152 card. Sure, it means a weekend off, but sometimes, less is more.

It sucks for Dan Henderson. It's a bummer for Chael Sonnen. In the short term, it's a big P.R. blow for Jones, and it puts a damper on his relationship with his bosses.

But, I'm telling you, the UFC got lucky.

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