UFC president Dana White.(photo: Hector Castro/MMADieHards.com)
“This is probably one of my all-time lows as being President of the UFC over the last 11 years. For the first time in 11 years we’re going to cancel an event. This Saturday’s fight at Mandalay Bay is being cancelled. Dan Henderson has a partial tear in his MCL and couldn’t continue. He tried to train. He tried to continue to work out. He saw doctors and there was nothing we could do to save that fight. One of the things that you guys have heard me brag about a million times, how UFC doesn’t have to cancel events, we can always find a replacement. For somebody to fight Jon Jones on eight days’ notice is tough to do, but to be totally honest with you guys, one guy did. Not only when we called him did he say, ‘I’ll take the fight,’ he said, ‘I’ll fly to Las Vegas tonight and fight him,” and that was Chael Sonnen. Chael Sonnen accepted the fight with Jon Jones, wanted the fight bad. As of 8-9 o’clock last night, we had a fight. We here at the UFC started working, creating different commercials, PR started to crank up. I was going to do this call and obviously it was going to be a different call this morning but the one thing that I never thought in a million years would happen, happened. Jon Jones said, ‘I’m not fighting Chael Sonnen with eight days’ notice.” Again, something that’s never happened in UFC history. A guy who’s a world champion and considered one of the pound-for-pound best turns down a fight. That has never happened either. So right now what’s happening is this fight is cancelled. It’ll be Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida on Saturday September 22nd on the Toronto, Canada card at UFC 152.”
- Dana White broke the news that UFC 151 is cancelled on a media conference call.
“When I decided to go after the light heavyweight championship, I knew that I’d win it like I always do. I just didn’t know it would be by forfeit. But I do stand before you today the light heavyweight champion. I’m in the same position today as I was yesterday. The fight’s going to happen sooner or later. It’s not like I’m not going to beat this guy up. It’s just a matter of when. My biggest concern isn’t with the fight or myself at all. My biggest concern is with Dan Henderson and his health. I have a personal relationship with him. I know his kids and how much he loves playing with them, so I just hate to see the guy’s health in any kind of jeopardy.”
- Chael Sonnen commented on his new championship via Bleacher Report, following Jon Jones’ decision to not fight The Gangster from West Lynn.
“Sadly and unfortunately, I partially tore a ligament in my knee in training. As a result I’ve had to make one of the toughest decisions that I have ever had to make…for the first time in my career I am forced to pull out of a fight, my fight with Jon Jones at UFC 151. Luckily, surgery is not needed at this time and I will be completely devoted to rehabing my knee as quickly as possible. I feel that I owe it to my fans and all the people supporting me to fight at my full potential in order to give myself a chance to win the UFC title. I appreciate the loyal support that I have felt from my fans. I want to thank all of my coaches and team of guys for the great support with my training camp. Most importantly, I appreciate their honesty when I needed them the most to make this very difficult decision. I also want to thank Dana and Lorenzo for being so understanding and supportive. I will continue to pursue the UFC belt with all of my heart!”
- Dan Henderson took to his Facebook account and commented on the injury that prevented him from competing at UFC 151.
“I heard that Dan Henderson was hurt. I said, ‘Wow, I’m not getting the shot at 185, let me get Jon Jones, he’s freaking awesome.”
- Chris Weidman told mmafighting.com that he also offered to scrap Jones.
“I was asked if it was smart to take a fight on three days’ notice and I don’t think it’s smart to do that. Three days to fight a guy that caliber is not a smart thing to do. I’m not trying to ruin the sport or cancel an event. I don’t know about that stuff, but thought it wasn’t a wise course of action. It’s a serious fight with serious ramifications. I didn’t mean to cancel an event and was asked to give an opinion and I gave it. I didn’t know they had it all riding on one fight. It’s one of those things…as a trainer. I’ll give you my opinion. I’m not a yes man…I do what’s best for my guy. I’m surprised by the veracity of his response but that’s my opinion. In this case (of the short notice fight), it’s a world title fight in the best sport in the world on three days’ notice. This isn’t backyard brawling…it’s a professional sport. I think Chael is brilliant. He circumvented an entire division…went right from Anderson (Silva) to Jon. It’s brilliant…he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’m always impressed by him.”
- Greg Jackson talked to The MMA Show about advising Jones not to take the match against Sonnen.
“Greg Jackson is a f*cking sport killer.”
- White talked about Jones’ head training on the UFC 151 conference call.
“Other than him (Sonnen) being a southpaw, they’re the exact same guy, they come out of the same camp and they’ve been training together their entire career. The difference between Chael Sonnen is Chael Sonnen is a wrestler, he doesn’t even hit as hard as Dan Henderson does. The only thing that is changing is his stance, he’s a southpaw. Other than that, he doesn’t even hit as hard as Dan Henderson. He’s 185-pounder. Dan Henderson has knocked out the who’s-who in mixed martial arts over his entire career. This guy is dangerous.”
- White told ESPN that Henderson and Sonnen are similar and, if anything, “Hendo” is a more dangerous opponent for “Bones.”
“I can’t imagine anyone in the UFC or any fighter turning down that fight. He’s the freaking Michael Jordan of MMA right now. He’s sponsored by Nike, he’s sponsored by the UFC, he’s driving the Bentley. With that kind of clout or whatever, you know you have to pay your own bills. It’s not like he was asked to come home from his honeymoon and take a fight. It’s not like that at all.
“You are well-prepared, this guy is not well-prepared and you won’t fight him? To me it’s just silly.”
- Charlie Brenneman talked to MMA DieHards about Jones’ decision to not fight at UFC 151.
“I feel horrible. I trained hard for this fight, but I’m most hurt for the people who were flying out that booked hotels and flights that can’t get their money back. This is the second time I’ve screwed over my supporters. I was going to fight at (UFC) 148. My people booked then the UFC sent me to Virginia. They were assed out. Sure they went to (UFC) 148, they had no choice. Now (UFC) 151 cancelled? If I was a fan of mine I probably would be skeptical on buying tickets to my fights and that sucks because I’m trying to build a fan base. That said, I still want to fight Mizugaki.”
- Jeff Hougland told MMA DieHards that he feels for everyone affected by the cancellation of UFC 151.
“We bust our asses and every time I go in a fight I am looking to do what I dream of doing. What I dream of doing is having the best performance I have ever had. Now I don’t have that opportunity.
“How many people get to go out and get their money, get their sponsor money and then possibly make another significant amount of money based on your performance? You don’t get to do that often in life and this is losing one of those few opportunities I had. It’s gone.”
- Brenneman explained to MMA DieHards, the disappointments of not getting to compete following the cancellation of UFC 151.
“Unfortunately a lot of sponsors do screw fighters over for their pay. That’s, as they say, some people pay for other’s mistakes. By doing this I don’t want fighters to be afraid of Fear The Fighter. At the end of the day we will come through and everybody will be happy.”
- Fear the Fighter president David Makdessi talked to MMA DieHards about paying would-be competitors on the UFC 151 card that they sponsored, even though the fighters did not compete.
“I got no problem fighting Chael but why would I want to fight a motherfucker that’s going to take me down and hump me? Why would I want to fight that guy. Honestly, Chael sucks. I’ll say it to his motherfucking face. Chael sucks. I like fighters. I like people who go out there and fight. Look at him, he goes out there and just tries to take you down and lay on you. Dude can’t bust a fucking grape, he fucking punch soft. Look what he did to Silva the first time. He beat him up four rounds and he didn’t even have a mark on his face.”
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson talked about Sonnen on an MMA Elite video.
“I don’t see a title shot even happening. Anderson Silva’s at a point where he needs to be fighting Jon Jones, he needs to be fighting GSP. If I’m Anderson Silva’s manager, that’s what I’m telling him to do. Don’t mess around with Alan Belcher or Chris Weidman there. I ain’t even worried about that.”
- Alan Belcher talked about the likelihood of fighting Weidman, as opposed to A. Silva via the “Talent’s” video blog.
“What I can tell you is what I’ve been doing on my preparation. I guess he’s trying to take me down anyway he can and, since I prefer to stand-up, I’ll try to keep actions up and go for the knockout again. I’m very well prepared, training a lot of ground game too and who knows? If he takes me down maybe I can submit him. After all, I train Jiu-Jitsu a lot and, as a Brazilian, someday I’ll submit someone.”
- Knockout artist and UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos told Tatame that one day he show off his ground skills, and that day may be when he meets Cain Velasquez.
That fight that I just fought, I kind of took it too early. I was fighting a number of injuries. I don’t want to make any excuses, but he caught me with an elbow as I was just finding my groove. … You know Hector Lombard has been talking a lot about me. So I don’t mind fighting him. I know he’s upset about what I said about him. I didn’t want to disrespect him at all. That’s just how I felt before I was asked those questions. I didn’t want to disrespect him. He’s a very good fighter, but if he wants to go, we can go.
- Mark Munoz told BJPenn.com that he would accept a bout against Hector Lombard.
“The haters can say what they want, but I’ll put myself out there and say this: Daniel will be Frank Mir’s last fight. Me and Daniel used to place bets on who could retire more people. Right now, I’m up one, because I believe I retired Mark Kerr. Daniel will tie it up after this fight with Frank Mir.”
- Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal told Bloody Elbow that Daniel Cormier will be the demise of Frank Mir.
“I don’t owe her anything and I think it’s wrong to reward someone like that with a title fight and with all of the considerations they want after they disgrace the sport and their country like that. If, while she was doping, she could get down to 145, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that if she’s not doping, she could be lighter. When have you ever heard of somebody taking a bunch of steroids and then stopping and maintaining the same muscle mass? It’s a flawed argument. She’s come into fights overweight and comes into fights on steroids. She obviously has no respect for the people she is fighting. She’s never had a fair fight once in her life and I’m going to put my foot down once and for all and give her a fair fight. I can see why she is scared to death with it and completely against it. I’m the strongest competitor that she’s ever going to come across. She’s not going to have any of those advantages.”
- Cris “Cyborg” Santos spoke on her arch nemesis, Ronda Rousey, to ESPN.
“I think I’m definitely making my mark to get back into title contention,” St. Preux said of his most recent victory. “I can see myself in the running for the top three or the top five. All I want is that belt whether it’s in Strikeforce or the UFC. That’s definitely my No. 1 mindset to get that 205 lb. belt.”
- Ovince St. Preux talked to MMA DieHards about his position in the Strikeforce light heavyweight division.