This has got to be the worst week ever in the life of famed MMA coach, Greg Jackson and his stable of elite UFC and Strikeforce fighters. Not only did both Julie Kedzie and Sarah Kaufman lose to their opponents at "Strikeforce: Rousey vs Kaufman", but now Jon Jones has refused to fight Chael Sonnen to allow the "show to go on" now that Dan Henderson has suffered a knee injury.
As a fan, I feel stunned, shocked and deeply disappointed that Jon "Bones" Jones turned down an opportunity to keep UFC 151 alive by agreeing to fight Chael Sonnen on September 1, 2012.
This feels like an "all about Jon move".
Instead of being a hero, "taking-one-for-the-team", Jones either sought his own councel or was given bad advice. I really don't understand his decision. More will be revealed as the story unfolds, but Jones has done some serious damage to his relationship with UFC president Dana White and the rest of the Zuffa team (including his fellow fighters).
Dana repeated the advice Greg Jackson gave Jon Jones, "You don't take this fight on eight days notice. It would be the biggest mistake of your entire career. Wow!"
Ariel Helwani from MMAFighting.com, was on the conference call and tweeted Dana White's comments: "I don't give a s--- what Greg Jackson thinks. He should never be interviewed by anyone again except for a psychiatrist." video
Jones made an unpopular decision
There must be more to the story than concern for losing his UFC light heavyweight title to the trash-talking, middleweight. Yes, Chael is looking to win a belt. He went so far as to buy a fake championship belt and brought it to press conferences, declaring himself the "real" champion.
This might sound strange, but I hear my dad's voice in the back of my head saying, "do what you need to do so you don't let everybody down." I have to believe that Jon Jones -- along with his over-sized athletic brothers -- were all raised with the same message. Fans have high expectations of their champions.
If doing the right thing wasn't motivation enough for Jones to make the right decision, Chael Sonnen offered to sweeten the pot by tweeting, "30 min to cement your legacy. Champ or Coward? I make a lot more than you do... Show up in 8 days I'll give you my purse."
From Kevin Iole's report on the situation, these two facts caught my attention:
First, "In a bid to save the card, White called several fighters and offered them the match against Jones. None but Sonnen, though, wanted to take on Jones without the benefit of a full training camp."
Second, "Sonnen hadn't trained since he lost to Silva and conceded his weight was high. He declined to say specifically what he weighed on Thursday, but said he would have had a lot of work to do to make the 205-pound limit. However, he insisted he would have made it."
Is Jon Jones self-destructive?
Why would (a cocky) Jon Jones not say to Dana, "Since Chael's been riding the eating ice cream on the couch diet, I'd be a fool not to take this opportunity to knock him out."
Instead a conservative Jon Jones is altering his relationship with everyone.
What if Jon Jones changes his mind?
I hope this is just a case of Dana White demonstrating the damage that will be done to Jon's reputation and credibility if he doesn't take the fight. I hope the fight between Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones takes place at UFC 151 on September 1.
Source: Twitter, all sources noted
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Cheryl Ragsdale started out boxing and has added kicks and BJJ so she can practice MMA. Currently, she trains with Keith Florian and has trained with UFC Fighter Kenny Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny
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