When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC ) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones declined a short-notice fight against Chael Sonnen for UFC 151, after Dan Henderson had to withdraw due to injury, it drew the ire of fans, media, and fellow fighters alike.
The backlash and aftermath of the event that never was, seems to be all in the past now as UFC President Dana White and "Bones" have settled any differences they may have had after the cancellation of the event. In fact, Jones even accepted a fight against "The American Gangster," which will go down on April 17, 2013, after the two men finish their coaching stint of season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
Nevertheless, every now and again, the not-so-popular decision Jones made to turn down a last-minute replacement fight is brought up, as was the case when Donald Cerrone, Jon's stablemate at Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts, was asked what he would have done in that situation at a recent Q & A with fans prior to the UFC 155 weigh-ins in Las Vega, Nevada.
According to "Cowboy," he says he would have taken the fight and will do so at any given time. Because at the end of the day, it's a fighters job to fight and not ‘curl up and find a way out."
"Yes, I'd have fought. They could call me tomorrow and ask me to fight. I think you need to fight. That's our job. I don't think you should curl up and find a way out. So yes, that's my answer."
Cerrone also revealed he and Jones have had conversations about the event-cancelling decision, which cost the promotion millions of dollars, and recalls a time when "Bones" started comparing fight purses, with "Cowboy" using his heart as a fighter as a rebuttal.
"He's my teammate, and we have this discussion all the time. I said, 'You should've done it.' And he goes, 'Well, you don't make a million (dollars) to fight.' And I said, 'Well, you're right, but I f---ing fight every time with all my heart.'"
Interesting revelation to say the least.
One can't argue Jones paychecks are quite heftier than those of Cerrone's, however, one can also side with "Cowboy's" argument that, despite the difference of size in their bank accounts, Cerrone more than makes up the gap with his willingness to step in against anyone, anytime.
Well, that and his habit for nabbing "Fight Night" bonuses, which can also be attribute to his ‘heart in a fight.'
Perhaps Jones felt he had more to lose, monetarily wise, had he accepted the bout against Sonnen and been defeated, and was another deciding factor in his final decision.
Money talks ... apparently.