There were rumors last night, and now it's official. Dana White announced today on a media call that Dan Henderson was forced to pull out of his light heavyweight title fight against champion Jon Jones at UFC 151 due to a knee injury.
What the rumors didn't conjecture at was a complete cancellation of the card, which is exactly what happened, as UFC 151 is now cancelled, and Jon Jones will fight Lyoto Machida at UFC 152—which is now technically UFC 151.
However, the drama doesn't end there. The card had a chance to go on, as there were two replacement fights offered up.
First, Lyoto Machida was offered the shot against Jones, to which Machida declined. Dana said he understood Machida's decision, as he wanted to face Jones on a full training camp.
Then, the shot was offered to the UFC's newest light heavyweight, Chael Sonnen. Sonnen immediately accepted the fight, and Dana said he was preparing to start promoting that.
Then Jon Jones said no.
That's right, Jon Jones, said by many to be a top-three pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, turned down a fight against Sonnen.
Dana White said that Jones was told by his coach, Greg Jackson, that taking the fight would be "the biggest mistake of his career."
It's hard to understand how that is true, as Sonnen is a small light heavyweight, has not been training for this fight and to be completely honest, is pretty one-dimensional. If Jones was able to stop the takedowns of Sonnen, it should have been a pretty easy fight for him.
But that wasn't enough for Jones, and he became, according to White, the first champion to ever turn down a fight.
Dana said himself that he and Lorenzo Fertitta are both "disgusted" with Jones.
Jones was already unpopular amongst fans, and this will do nothing to help his popularity. He had an entire card cancelled because he refused to fight an undersized light heavyweight.
Jones has no choice but to embrace the hate and become the villain. People will no longer defend him, people will no longer cheer him on.
Jon Jones is on his way to becoming one of the best fighters in MMA history, but he is also well on his way to becoming the biggest villain in MMA history.
Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.
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