Mixed-martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship announced Thursday it canceled its upcoming pay-per-view card slated for Las Vegas next month, marking the first time in 11 years UFC scrapped an event.
Dan Henderson was supposed to fight Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones for the title. Henderson was scratched from the card, though, because of a knee ligament tear.
In a conference call, UFC President Dana White said Chael Sonnen offered to fill the vacant spot in the card's main event, but Jones refused.
"The one thing I never thought would happen happened," White said during Thursday's call. "Jon Jones said he won't fight Chael Sonnen on eight days' notice."
White said Jones did not accept the new fight on advice of his head trainer, Greg Jackson.
"Greg Jackson should never be interviewed by anyone ever again, except for a psychiatrist," said White during the conference call.
Sonnen, who lost by technical knock-out in July against Anderson Silva for the middleweight title, was willing to go up to light heavyweight on short notice, White said.
UFC 151 was originally slated for Sept. 1 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Twenty other fighters were slated to fight in Las Vegas, and now for many their financial futures are in flux.
"These are guys who are fighting check-to-check, and their corner men, these are guys who, their phone bill, their groceries are contingent on getting that paycheck," said analyst Joey Varner of MMA Fight Corner.
One of those fighters, Charlie Brenneman, took his frustrations against Jones to Twitter:
Brenneman told FOX5 he was ultimately not surprised by Jones' actions.
"Whenever you have an opportunity to fight in the UFC, you have an opportunity to single handedly make $100,000 in one night," Brenneman said. "You don't have that opportunity very often, and that's the opportunity that was taken away."
The scheduled fight after the Las Vegas card - UFC 152 in Toronto - will now have Jones fighting Vitor Belfort in Toronto, according to MMAFighting.com.
Brenneman's fight was also moved to that card.
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