The event that didn't happen. The event that won't happen. The event that wasn't saved. So many possibilities. So many things could have happened. Bad luck struck the event down. Dan Henderson gets injured, Chael Sonnen steps up, Jon Jones turns down the fight and we all watch a massive shitstorm unfold. August 23rd will go down as a day that MMA fans will remember for the drama.
So, how are there winners and losers if the event didn't happen? Simple. The events that have unfolded, have produced winners and losers. From Dan Henderson being injured to Chael Sonnen offering to take the fight to Jon Jones declining the fight. Winners and losers have been produced. I'm taking Tim Burke's seat in this...even though the event didn't happen...and this is only a fan post.
Chael Sonnen: This one is a bit obvious and was since the fallout. If there was anybody who has come off as a winner from this whole debacle, it's Chael Sonnen. He took the ball and he ran with it. Jon Jones gave him ammunition. And as annoying as the trash talking will get from Sonnen in the next few months (this will go on for months, guaranteed), he has made himself seem like a hero to the masses. His stock undoubtedly rose after taking the fight and the constant bashing of Jon Jones that occurred after the event was canceled. Even before that, he was setting up the fight with Jones and got into a little Twitter argument with 'Bones'. Ever since the event was dropped, we've seen Chael go on major sporting outlets such as SportsCenter and seen UFC Tonight let him air his views. Also, let's not forget: he talked himself into a title shot. Something Dana White said he would not let him do and something Jon Jones said he would not let him do -- and little 'JJ' stood by it, while Dana, turned his back on it.
What makes Sonnen the biggest winner has got to be the way he has come out smelling like roses. You could say, he doesn't care about the praise he's getting. He doesn't care about the fighters he was seemingly defending. He doesn't care about the soldiers that he brought up in the whole 'do you think they have eight days to prepare' statement....he fast tracked his way to a title shot and would have gotten it, if he had not gotten rejected. He's got loads of people following him along. He has several MMA fans in the palm of his hand. They're going around, quoting what he has said about Jones and also calling him a coward. Don't forget those hilarious edits of Jon Jones' new Nike t-shirts and anything associated with Nike.
Vitor Belfort: Vitor Belfort's stock also rose from this whole situation. He wasn't even mentioned when it came down to it. In fact, he wasn't even considered by anyone when the excrement hit the fan. Vitor Belfort went from fighting at UFC 153 to headlining UFC 152 in a blink of an eye. He returns to the Light Heavyweight division in what would be the fifth anniversary of his last fight in the division. The task isn't going to be easy against Jones. Shortly after the bout was announced, Jones opened as 13-1 favourite over the 'Phenom'. Belfort can be considered more deserving than Chael -- but not by much.
Losers after the jump...
Jon Jones: The biggest loser of them all from UFC 151 is...you guessed it. Jonathan Dwight Jones. To be honest, I can't really blame him for what he did. Fighting at short-notice, against an undeserving opponent and with a lot at stake, he had every right to turn down the fight. He can take some of the blame, though he can't take all of it. Sadly, he was thrown under the bus by Dana White before he could say anything to defend himself. He was vilified immediately by Dana White and then other fighters. He became a scapegoat. Dana was angry and could be at fault here, but he made sure he 'relieved' him and Zuffa of the blame with his scathing comments towards Jon Jones and Greg Jackson. Sure, he may have went overboard. He has people agreeing with him. And a strong majority of fans are siding with Chael Sonnen (who is the biggest winner) and tweeting some random person who is called Jon Jones insults on Twitter.
Jon Jones had a chance to save UFC 151. Well, when I say save, I mean revive. He had a chance to be a hero. But it didn't happen. He turned down the fight with Chael Sonnen, which is fair no matter how you try to spin it. But Dana White throwing him under the bus was the start of his problems. He gave Chael Sonnen ammunition to verbally shoot him down with. He's got the undercard fighters mad at him and directing insults his way. Because of him, Daron Cruickshank's cat won't be able to eat. So many complications have occurred since he declined the fight. He's the subject of ridicule and held responsible for canceling the UFC card.
Jon Jones had legitimate reasons to turn down the fight. It wasn't his fault things turned out the way they did. There's several factors involved. Lack of preparation time. Different opponent. The lack of prestige in the opponent provided. You can bring up him taking a short notice fight to take on Shogun, but six weeks is much different to eight days and there wasn't much at stake. At the end of the day, people are only going to blame him. Because Jon Jones can do nothing right in the eyes of most. The legitimate reasons aren't seen by most and he is probably the most hated man right about now in the UFC. People have become so outraged, they've started a petition to drop him from Nike. Yes, I'm not even lying about that. People are actually going that far.
Jon Jones is the biggest loser because his reputation has taken yet another hit. The DWI charge knocked his reputation slightly. His attitude which is considered 'fake' and comments considered 'cocky' knocked it some more. The UFC 151 debacle may have been the straw that broke the camels back. I feel sorry for Jon Jones. He can't win. He just can't. The fans are going to get at him no matter what he does. If he fought Sonnen and won, they would most probably discredit his win. If he was the one that was injured and not Dan Henderson, they would have called him everything under the sun. His reputation has once again taken a knock, but unlike the previous ones, this one may take a lot of time to shake off.
Greg Jackson may have influenced his decision to turn it down, which creates the question: where was Malki Kawa in all this?
Dana White: He may not be the subject of ridicule for most fans, but I'm not excusing him from this. Some people have criticised his handling of this incident, and I'm no different. If there was any way to not react to something as major as this, it was the way Dana White did. I understand -- he was seething.What he did to Jon Jones was wrong. He threw him under the bus. Made him into a scapegoat. White then called Greg Jackson a 'sport killer', which is not exactly fair. The conference call demonstrated how unprofessional Dana White can be. We know he doesn't like fighters turning down fights, but he took it to a new level.
We all know Dana White can be a hypocrite at times. He told us that Chael Sonnen wouldn't talk his way to a title shot. That's exactly what Sonnen did. He walked into a Light Heavyweight title shot; a month after he got his chest caved in by Anderson Silva. There's no shame in losing to the best, but you cannot just walk into a title shot. Especially if you're just moving up. Jones told him to get to the back of the line, Dana flipped. Dana should be blamed for the lack of quality that UFC 151 had. It was a one-fight card. Let's not forget that. After the Jones fight got dropped, there was nothing to back it up. Jay Hieron and Jake Ellenberger aren't going to sell a PPV. Neither is Eddie Yagin and Dennis Siver. I know that there was a strong co-main event there before when Josh Koscheck was slated to face the 'Juggernaut'. But he dropped out and nobody of equal-popularity could step-up. This is an example of UFC spreading themselves to thin. I don't want to admit it -- I like the frequency of fight cards -- but this is just another point for less cards to be done.
Daron Cruickshank's Cat and The Undercard Fighters: It would suck to be Daron Cruickshank's cat right now. Daron can't buy cat food because Jon Jones turned down the fight with Chael Sonnen. Even though Zuffa canceled the card. The fighters and the cat are losers because...well, they lost out on a paycheck. The cat can't eat; Charlie Brenneman almost missed out on his rent; Jeff Houghland's child has no back-to-school clothes and the list goes on. Jones' actions may be considered 'selfish', but he isn't responsible for the other fighters sadly. The fighters took to Twitter, to direct their displeasure with Jon Jones. I understand they were angry, though, why were they not taking issue with Zuffa? Jones doesn't pay them. He's not exactly responsible for anybody's pay but his own. You can't help but feel sorry for the fighters though. They are tragedies of the UFC 151 card.
Dan Henderson: That's right. There's a very good reason for this one. He was injured three weeks prior then he failed to notify anybody at the UFC. I'll give him props for toughing it out, but this whole rollercoaster ride of drama could have been avoided if he told Zuffa when he got hurt. There would be enough time to pick up the pieces and maybe, just maybe, Jones would have accepted the fight with Sonnen. If we set up dominoes to represent this debacle, the domino that gets knocked down first would be Dan Henderson and his injury. It was an error that lacked professionalism.
He can take up some of the blame for the cancelation of the card, as could Dana White (and the UFC) and Jon Jones. Who would take most of the blame? That would be Dana White and the UFC. Spreading themselves too thin; making a scapegoat out of Jon Jones; trying to replace top contender Dan Henderson with someone who can't even be considered top in the Light Heavyweight Division...all these things. They add up. And I think they should be blamed more than Jon Jones is by the wave of people who hate him for everything he does. Though, that's just my opinion. You all have different ones regarding this situation.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this...excuse my poor writing and whatnot...