Friday, September 7, 2012

UFC Champ Jon Jones: Dana White put blame for UFC 151 on everyone but himself

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Both UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and UFC President Dana White weighed in this week on the cancellation of UFC 151. Jones explained his side of the situation further, while White softened a bit on Jones and added Dan Henderson to the list of those responsible for the event's cancellation.

In a new interview with The Montreal Gazette on Wednesday, Jones commented further on the cancellation of the event, and said White has successfully laid the blame everywhere except himself.

"I had to do what's right for myself by turning down that fight, Dana had to do what was right for himself by putting the blame on everyone else except for himself," Jones said. "The lesson to be learned is, at the end of the day, you have to protect yourself and your family."

That lesson is one Jones thinks will help him going forward with the UFC, and he also believes the UFC will learn their lesson from what happened here as well.

"I think in the future, this can make me and Dana even better off," Jones said. "For him to get out how he felt about me in that situation, it will help me look at things more business-oriented. A lot of good can come out of it. Fighters can learn the lesson of doing what's best for themselves and not feeling like puppets. I think the UFC has learned a lesson of making sure they stay loyal to the fans and give them full cards."

Penick's Analysis: If there are positives to be gleaned from this situation, it is that the UFC will hopefully be smarter about how the cards are booked going forward considering the injury issues that have plagued them this year. Jones' decision to stand up for himself and what he felt was right in his career could be a tonal shift for other fighters in the organization as well, though that could have both positive and negative effects as far as the UFC's business is concerned, as it could be a closer-to-boxing situation at the top than the UFC's ever seen. But Jones has opened the door for fighters to take more control of their own destinies, instead of being solely subject to the whims of the UFC. Not everyone can afford to take that route, but that's an option for those at the top.

[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c)]


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