I think Jones had far more to gain than lose.
What he had to GAIN:
-respect from all fans. a respect that had dwindled for a while.
-new fans. he is a draw, but far from the biggest UFC draw. He should take new fans whenever he can get them if he is so concerned about PPV dollars.
-the chance to shut a guy up that he seems to dislike. he has called him a joke and a criminal (which Chael is) but if you feel so strongly why not fight him? wouldn't that be a fight you WANT?
-What seemed to be a rather easy title defense. A wrestler that was smaller than him. He just stuffed a more athletic wrestler in Rashad. Chael had little chance of holding him down for 5 rounds. It isn't like Jones needs to be ready for his finishing ability. Chael is all wrestling.
-The chance to get more credit as the P4P best. If he went out and just straight manhandled Sonnen, he would have beat him in a fashion that SIlva did not. Again, something to gain from a fight with Sonnen.
-He cried to Dana to shut Chael up. Well a beat down in a fight usually shuts most up. You don't hear Chael talking about Anderson much now.
-Money that he seems to desperately need. Sonnen would of done way more PPV numbers than Belfort. He may of done better PPV numbers than anyone else at 205 would. Who knows, but the numbers would have been rock solid.
What he had to LOSE:
- his belt.
(A belt that he could have won back rather quickly. A Sonnen/Bones rematch would do HUGE numbers. HUGE!. Jones is 25 years old, there is plenty of time to gain belts back. Losses make fighters grow. All the greats have had them.)
And besides...he may of lost. But he would have been a HUUUUGE favorite. And rightfully so.
Apparently, Jon Jones didn't agree with you. It was his choice to take or reject the fight, and just like parking his Bently half way up a telegraph pole, it will be him that deals with any fallout.
Personally I love the fact that Chael didn't (badly) lose to Silva and then immediately land in the ring with Jones - for me, that scenario dilutes the value of the UFC brand a lot more than the UFC cancelling their first show.
The big problem is the UFC jumped on the Jones hype wagon faster than anyone (and I don't blame them - the man is a stud) and allowed him to clean out the division - Is it then Jones' fault that the UFC doesn't have a suitable and valid LHW replacement? No of course not
But regardless of what Jones does, there are going to people out there who hate - let me help with you a few:
Jones discovers cure for cancer
Haters gonna say that Jones is number one cause of cancer
Jones reverses global warming
haters gonna fall into three camps (1) Jones caused global warming so should be hung regardless (2) Global warming is a crock and Jones is therefore a liar (3) Jones responsible for new ice age
Jones ends drought
Jones causes floods
Jones earns haters respect