Does it kind of suck that Jon Jones is defending his light heavyweight championship against Vitor Belfort of all people in the main event of UFC 152 on Sat., Sept. 22, 2012, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada? Yeah, it kind of does.
But it's not all bad.
Dan Henderson's injury -- and his refusal to open up about it until it was too late -- helped send us there, as did Lyoto Machida turning down a short notice bout against "Bones." The natural thing to do, then, is pair those two up for a fight when they return, right?
That's the plan as it stands right now, according to UFC President Dana White. MMA Fighting has a quote from the bossman on the plan:
"[Machida] should have taken the fight. We've seen it, history always repeats itself. Look how long it took Rashad (Evans) to fight for the title again. So you wanted to fight Jon Jones, you climbed up to the title fight and you don't take it. Now you're fighting (expletive) Dan Henderson. Now you might not even get to the (expletive) title again. You lose to Dan Henderson you're not anywhere near Jon Jones. You jump on opportunities when they're available. You get a shot at the title, the biggest money fight you can be in, the highest profile fight you can be in. And if you win that (expletive) fight, the whole world changes overnight."
Obviously, he's still upset at the way things have played out over the past few weeks and really, who can blame him? Bad shit happens every day he wakes up but this one month stretch has been ridiculous.
To recap: Henderson injured his knee and waited too long to pull out of the fight, forcing the UFC to find a short notice replacement with just eight days to prepare for the fight. Chael Sonnen was the only taker and Jones refused that fight so UFC 151 was cancelled.
White, thinking Machida would accept a fight against Jones at UFC 152 went ahead and announced that bout when making the announcement of UFC 151's cancellation. But "The Dragon" turned that down, as did a few others.
Finally, we've settled on Jones vs. Belfort and Henderson vs. Machida, the latter of which will take place on an upcoming fight card to be named.