Photo of Jon Jones by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
Dan Henderson is not impressed by Joe Silva's performance.
Not that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) matchmaker had much choice, considering the only person who wanted to fight Jon Jones when "Hendo" pulled out of the UFC 151 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, previously scheduled for this Saturday night (Sept. 1, 2012) in Las Vegas, Nevada, was former middleweight number one contender Chael Sonnen.
And "Bones" didn't want to fight him.
Lyoto Machida, who had previously established himself as division number one contender (again), was already on a flight to Brazil while former 205-pound titleholder Mauricio Rua was feasting on feijoada in the Chute Boxe cafeteria. The eight-day Rolodex was understandably short on names.
Enter Vitor Belfort.
"The Phenom" willingly dumped Alan Belcher (who claims he broke his back) for a big-money title fight against Jones, which is now headlining the UFC 152 fight card on Sept. 22 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. All's well that ends well, right?
Turns out, neither is he.
"I'm not really interested to see the fight, and I'm a fan of both guys. I don't think the fans are going to be real interested ... I didn't feel responsible. I felt horrible that I had to back out. It's not something I wanted. I had no idea what I could have done to change that, other than not get hurt. I didn't ask, 'Hey, what's going to happen if I pull out?' That wasn't what it was about. It was about whether I could fight or not. I didn't need to know. In my mind, I didn't have the right to know. I didn't want to know if my fight was guaranteed if I pulled out, making it easier for me to pull out. I didn't really want to know what was going to happen. I wanted to make sure I made the decision based on the fact if I could fight or not. Even now it's unknown what will happen with my next fight."
Henderson suffered a partial tear to his medial collateral ligament (MCL) a few weeks prior to the UFC 151 event and wrestled with the decision to pull out. Perhaps a definitive answer at the time of the accident could have set the course of events on a different path, but that's purely speculation.
Speaking of speculation, fill in the blank: UFC 152: "Jones vs. Belfort" will draw __ PPV buys.