It has been seven weeks after the historic UFC 151; this fight will be forever to be remembered as the event that never happened. Jon Jones turned down a short-notice replacement opponent Chael Sonnen. The UFC light heavyweight champion will now defend his title at “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 against the same 15-year pro fighter Chael Sonnen.
To recount what happened at UFC 151, Jon Jones was supposed to face Dan “Hendo” Henderson at September 1 but Hendo suffered a terrible injury that caused him to turn down the fight. UFC searched for an opponent for Jones in just eight days’ notice. UFC chose Chael Sonnen who immediately accepted the invitation. Jones however, declined the fight. UFC 151 was cancelled. Jones was booked for UFC 152 to face Vitor Belfort for his light heavyweight belt which he retained.
Jones expressed his feelings over facing Sonnen in so many occasions and most of this in utter dissatisfaction. But lately Jones is seen singing a different tune. The champion finally revealed his decision to accept a challenge from Sonnen and possibly a slot on UFC’s reality show.
In a media conference call, Jon Jones said: “It honestly didn’t have anything to do with finances. It had to do with getting over this chapter of our careers. I’m trying to move forward and do a lot of amazing things. Whether I thought I could beat Chael. It was about fighting and handling my career in the most professional manner. Taking a last minute fight for a world championship is not fair to me, and it’s hopefully something I’ll never have to do. I just wanted to fight Chael with the appropriate time to prepare.” Jones further added: “I absolutely know I can beat Chael and I’m really confident going into this fight because of my skill and my versatility. I’m a championship fighter and I don’t think Chael is really a guy who knows how to win championships.”
Jones further explained that according to his analysis, Sonnen is not getting close to the light heavyweight belt but he has great respect for the fighter. He mentions that even when Sonnen is not a championship level athlete, he has his great qualities. But all these will not be much of a factor when they finally meet on the octagon. “I really don’t see any way for Chael to win this fight, but I’m still going to train like a madman.”