UFC 151 Canceled: The Winners and Losers of This Interruption

Mark PareCorrespondent IIAugust 23, 2012

UFC 151 Canceled: The Winners and Losers of This Interruption

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    What was once a highly anticipated event that featured Jon Jones defending his crown against the legendary Dan Henderson is now the first UFC event that has ever been officially cancelled.

    Henderson partially tore his MCL during training and had to pull out of the bout.  After proposing the fight to Lyoto Machida and having Jones decline a fight against Chael Sonnen, UFC president Dana White announced the cancellation of the whole event, scheduled for September 1st at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas.

    It is not all bad for all UFC fans, as there were some positives to look at.

    Here are the winners and losers of the cancellation of UFC 151.

Losers: The UFC

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    The most obvious loss goes to the UFC.  The UFC hotbed that is Las Vegas always knows how to put on an event and generates a ton of cash for the company.

    Ticket sales, merchandise sales, everything else that goes into a UFC event, marked down to $0.

    $0 is simple math, anyone reading this knows that. Explaining it more than that may come off as condescending, so that is all.

Losers: Chael Sonnen

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    After Lyoto Machida declined to fight Jones on short notice, Chael Sonnen took to Twitter and offered to fight the champ and give him his fight purse along with it.

    "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."

    sonnench - Twitter

    Jones declined the bout, something that White blamed on advice given by Jones' trainer, Greg Jackson, on a special UFC conference call that B/R's Matthew Roth blogged live.

    Jon Jones was given the options and told the consequences. He knows what happened. Machida was in the air when we were trying to make the fight. I can accept why Machida didn't take the fight. I understand that. Greg Jackson told Jones there's no way you take the Chael Sonnen fight on eight days notice. Said it would be the biggest mistake of his career. Greg Jackson is a f***ing sport killer. I've never heard anything like this in my entire life.

    Of course, it's not all bad for Sonnen.  He does have a bout against Forrest Griffin in his debut at 205 in December so at the end of the night, nothing really changed in the world of Chael, just a golden opportunity snatched away by a reluctant champion.

Losers: The Undercard Fighters

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    A lot of the marquee names make enough money in one fight to sustain a high-class living for a long time to come.

    There are those, however, who are trying to make a name for themselves and make a fraction of Jones' purse doing so.

    As expressed in a Bleacher Report article by Tim McTiernan, some fighters were not too happy that they lost out on a fight purse and took to Twitter to express their opinions.

    Such a disappointing situation will call for Dana White to make arrangements and you can bet he is already in the process to clean this all up but for now, most of the fighters on the UFC 151 card have to sit at home or in their training facilities and wait for the call.

Losers: The People/Businesses of Las Vegas

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    Fans of the UFC in Las Vegas just lost out on a show.  Plain and simple, it's enough to spark outrage amongst fans who have spent a fortune to come from all ends of the Earth to see this fight.

    Certain hotels won't issue refunds, and businesses that promoted the event were expecting increased revenue based on the tourists, fighters, trainers and everyone involved coming into the city.

    It is the hotbed and home of the UFC so although they will take a major hit for this, it's exactly it.  It's the city the UFC holds events in the most around the year.

    The next UFC event in Las Vegas is The Ultimate Fighter 16 finale on December 1.

Winners: The People/Businesses of Toronto

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    What was Las Vegas' loss was Toronto's gain.  Now, in the Air Canada Centre at UFC 152, the fans will be treated to two title bouts.

    Already scheduled is the fight to determine the first ever UFC Flyweight Champion as Joseph Benavidez takes on Demetrious Johnson.

    Now, with Jones and Machida, it is a stacked card that will generate even more for fight fans in Southern Ontario.

    Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann and Matt Hamill's return to MMA.

    Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia's TJ Grant and Sudbury, Ontario's Mitch Gagnon are in action.

    This was one of those sleeper events that became huge with one little addition.

    If last minute fight fans were pondering whether or not to come to this show, you can bet after seeing Jones and Machida for the first time in the Capital of Ontario, a second bite won't hurt.

    As White said in the UFC conference call:

    We’ve been waiting to add another fight to that card (in Toronto). There you go.

    It worked out beautiful for Toronto.

Winners: Jon Jones

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    When it came to decision making time, Jones made a highly criticized call to decline a fight with Chael Sonnen.  The decision ultimately led to the cancellation of UFC 151.

    Jones didn't lose out all that much, however, as he still fights at UFC 152. He is headlining against a familiar foe in Lyoto Machida so he still gets his fight purse that he would've gotten against Henderson.

    Another positive is time.  Jones has another three weeks to prepare for a fight.  You can never be too prepared for a large task and Jones is sure to go back to the gym to prep for a new—yet old—opponent.

Winners: Lyoto Machida

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    When Lyoto Machida was first offered the bout on September 1, he had to decline because he was on a flight back to his homeland Brazil.

    After the cancellation of UFC 151, Machida got great news as he is getting three weeks time to prep for Jones at UFC 152, slated September 22 in Toronto.

    Machida earned the title shot after defeating Ryan Bader at the UFC on FOX earlier this month.

    It's under unfortunate circumstances that he's getting the shot in September but it was the best thing UFC could do given the situation.


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    There really are no winners in all of this.  Things didn't work out; it's a disappointment.

    Jones gets to fight three weeks later so he gets more time to train and Machida gets his title shot earlier than expected.

    Dana White also made this strong statement, according to canada.com:

    UFC 151 will be remembered as the event Jon Jones and Greg Jackson murdered

    What do you think?


    Mark Pare is a Featured Columnist. You can follow him on Twitter, and don't forget to check out his sportswriter page.