I’m a big fan of Jon Jones, but nevertheless will do my best to avoid adding to the copious hyperbole already written. Although I am always shocked and surprised at how emotionally involved people appear to be with MMA fighters in general and Jon Jones in particular…
For what it’s worth, here’s my thoughts -
o Jon Jones is a professional fighter, he gets paid a lot of money to beat people up, and although we all get to see him behind the scenes in various “All Access’ interviews and shows, it’s worth remembering – he is not your friend and probably wouldn’t stop to talk with you if you saw him in the street.
o Before Dan Henderson got injured, Sonnen announced he was moving up to 205 and intended to make a run at the title – I believe that Jones responded by stating that Sonnen would not be talking his way into a 205 title fight and would need to earn a shot a the title…
o When Henderson announced that he was unable to compete at UFC 151 the UFC tried to save the card. However, in my opinion the original UFC 151 card was one of the shallowest ever put on PPV and should have been euthanized immediately.
o Sure Jones has a responsibility to his employer, but he had contracted and been training for a particular opponent – he was (obviously) within his rights to refuse to fight Sonnen on such short notice.
o Does Jones’ refusal to fight Sonnen on eight days notice let down the UFC? Yes it does – but the fact that the UFC had no choice but to cancel the event when they were unable to provide a suitable opponent, is indicative of the fact that they were selling a show relying on a single fight – shame on them for placing 100% of the card’s responsibility on Jones’ shoulders
o Do I think that people have overreacted? Yes I do – but that, in my opinion, has everything to do with the fact that it’s Jones who for reasons unknown (to me) has polarized MMA fan community like no other fighter (that I can think of).
My take away –
o The UFC needs to stop putting out crappy cards – I watch most UFC events at home, and pay $55 every time – this year the only event I didn’t buy was Henderson Edgar II (I was out of town). But I was not looking forward to UFC 151 even though one of my favorite fighters was headlining, and was seriously considering giving it miss and following the round by round descriptions online
o UFC 152 is now looking like one of the best cards of the year – As far as I’m concerned:
o Jones just saved me $55,
o Jones made sure that Sonnen didn’t talk himself into a title fight he didn’t deserve and which wouldn’t have been competitive anyway,
o Jones hopefully showed the top brass at the UFC that they need to do better.