Photo: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
Yesterday, ESPN's MMA Live focused on the topic of the UFC 151 cancellation and where the blame for it might lie. There was an interesting nugget in it that made me take pause. According to Franklin McNeil, a reliable source close to the situation said that Jon Jones was willing to pay the fighters from the card their purses. Unfortunately, that good will was hampered by a condition. You weren't allowed to voice your opinion about the situation if it wasn't a favorable one. These days, charitable moments have sub-clauses. Due to multiple fighters speaking out against Jones, he decided to change his mind and not pay out the fighters.
This whole UFC 151 cancellation has pulled me in two directions. I fully understand and support Jones on his decision to not take a last minute fight. Chael Sonnen is an elite competitor, and that's a hell of a risk to take with your title. However, the fan in me would have been 100x more dedicated to Jones' future endeavors had he stepped up to the plate and met the challenge. What bothers me here, is that when things like this leak out, it doesn't do him any favors. This is akin to his backhanded apology tweet. I almost helped a lady across the street but decided not to because she didn't ask nicely. See what I did there? To me, it defeats the spirit of a good will gesture when it's conditional.
Catch the clip of the show and some quotes after the jump.
"A source from very close to him said Jon Jones was willing to pay the fighters, he felt so bad about the card being cancelled, he was willing to pay the fighters on that card their fees. But after all these attacks on him by other fighters, he chose not to do that. He feels really bad about this situation and did not expect the entire card to be cancelled."
The interesting part of their conversation starts at the 2:40 mark of the video below: