By now, you've all heard the news about Dan Henderson being forced out of UFC 151's main event. If you're reading this article, it is not news to you that Jon Jones put the UFC in a difficult position by refusing replacement bouts with Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida.
As a result, UFC 151 was left without a main event, and the UFC has cancelled an event for the first time in organizational history.
While the world is focusing on Jon Jones and his selfish decision, I think it's only fair that we shed some light on the other fighters who have been affected by the cancellation of UFC 151.
With 10 other fights scheduled between the main card and preliminaries, you are looking at 20 fighters who have invested their time, money and energy into preparing for a battle on Sept. 1. Where do they go from here?
When a member of today's teleconference asked directly how the other fighters on the event would be affected, Dana White seemed unsure. "We'll figure it out," he said. "I don't know what the fallout is going to be."
The President didn't stop there. Lashing out on the champion, White berated Jones for his selfish decision by specifically mentioning the resulting financial hardships that undercard fighters are now forced to endure.
"There's a bunch of guys on the undercard that do this to feed their families, and this is how they make their living," White said. "You just affected 16 other people's lives."
The co-main event was to see No. 5-ranked welterweight Jake Ellenberger looking to rebound from a June loss to Martin Kampmann. Instead of gearing up for war, "The Juggernaut" is now without an home for his rematch with Jay Hieron, the man who handed him his first professional loss.
Expected to stand across the cage was returning star Jay Hieron, who was lucky enough to rejoin the UFC roster after a seven-year absence. Very grateful to finally get back into the organization, Hieron spoke with MMAJunkie.com and expressed his appreciation to be fighting again in the UFC.
"I've had great runs, beaten top guys, but it just wasn't my time. Either I was signed, or I was injured. It just never worked out for me to come back to the UFC, but I never got deterred. I had to take a different route, and now I am here. I appreciate it all so much."
Now, Hieron and Ellenberger stand out in the cold, awaiting a decision regarding their would-be rematch.
And they aren't the only ones. Other notables who have just been robbed of a fight include Dennis Siver and opponent Eddie Yagin, who promised to deliver a striker-friendly affair on the main card. Dennis Hallman would have competed in his 69th professional bout against lightweight Thiago Tavares. Additionally, flyweights John Lineker and Yasuhiro Urushitani were scheduled to kick off the PPV portion of the event.
Let us not forget about Shane Roller, Michael Johnson, Danny Castillo, Jacob Volkmann, Kyle Noke, Charlie Brenneman, Takeya Mizugaki, Jeff Hougland, Tim Means, Abel Trujillo, Henry Martinez and Daron Cruickshank. Each man has trained hard in hopes of showing the world what they can do inside the Octagon.
The next UFC event is the "new" UFC 151 on Sept. 22. Formerly headlined by a flyweight championship bout, Jon Jones will now fight Lyoto Machida in addition to the 10 fights that were already on the card. Perhaps another contest from the "old" UFC 151 could also transfer over.
It is possible that the UFC will add one or two of the previously scheduled bouts to the new UFC 151. On Sept. 29, the UFC on Fuel 5 takes place in Birmingham, England. With limited starpower and only 11 fights on the card, it's possible that the UFC could supplement the free event with another pair of fights.
In any event, only a few fights can be salvaged in a timely manner. The rest will either be postponed or forgotten about. All of this is thanks to a selfish decision by a champion who refused to take a fight on short notice.
How did Jon Jones win the UFC light-heavyweight championship? Oh, that's right. He was a late replacement for an injured Rashad Evans. I guess "Bones" doesn't believe in paying it forward.
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