By ABS-CBNnews.com and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Jon “Bones” Jones’ refusal to fight Chael Sonnen on September 1 won’t help improve his already tarnished image, according to several Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) personalities.
Jones, the reigning UFC light weight champion, turned down the offer to face Sonnen who was initially picked to replace the injured Dan Henderson.
As a result, the whole UFC 151 fight card was cancelled, affecting the other fighters who were supposed to be featured in the card.
“This is one of those selfish, disgusting decisions that just doesn’t affect you,” White said in Yahoo! Sports. “He just affected 16 other people’s lives, families, kids going back to school. The list goes on and on, the money that was spent for these fighters to train, and everything else.
“Like I said, this isn’t a decision that is going to make Jon Jones popular with the fans, sponsors, cable distributors, television network executives or other fighters.”
Jones will instead figure in a rematch against Lyoto Machida, whom he also had refused to fight because of low pay-per-view sales.
They will fight on September 22.
Michael “The Count” Bisping said Jones made a big mistake in refusing Sonnen.
“Jon Jones is never, ever going to live this down,” Bisping said. “I can’t believe this was his decision. If you have ‘ultimate fighter’ on your business card, you are supposed to show up and fight. And if you are the world champion, you are supposed to have the ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ attitude.”
MMA legend Chuck Liddell said Jones’ decision is a big letdown to fight fans.
He said Jones’ demeanor differed from what was expected from a high-level fighter.
“The fans want to think their favorite, their world champion, is indestructible, and believe he can beat anyone,” Liddell said. “From a fan’s standpoint, you want to believe your guy would fight anyone at any place at any time. Him saying no to a guy fans perceive as a middleweight isn’t going to help his image at all.”
Jones has had other problems, including pleading guilty for driving under the influence last July.
He was arrested in the wee hours of May 26 after crashing his Bentley into a utility pole.