UFC 151: An Event of What-Ifs and Why Nots

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11:  (L-R) UFC fighters Anderson Silva and Jon Jones arrive at the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

UFC 151 is no more, as Dana White canceled the event due to the lack of a main event. Originally headlined by Jon Jones and Dan Henderson, Henderson backed out due to a knee injury. 

With Henderson's departure from the main event, Jones was offered a number of fights which he turned down. From Chael Sonnen to Chris Weidman, it seemed like everybody and their brother wanted to take the short-notice fight.

UFC 151 now becomes an event of what-ifs and why nots.

On paper, UFC 151 was not the most star-studded card, but the fights on the card were sure to be crowd pleasing. Sure, Shane Roller vs. Jacob Volkmann and Kyle Noke vs. Charlie Brenneman didn't turn any heads, but they were relegated to Facebook.

While several fights have been moved to other cards, some have died altogether. Fights with much intrigue, such as Eddie Yagin vs. Dennis Siver and John Lineker vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani, are scrapped at the moment.

What if Jon Jones simply accepted a fight with Chael Sonnen? Forrest Griffin, one man, would have lost a fighting opportunity. But again, he is one man.

Instead, over a dozen men go without a payday opportunity.

And it doesn't just affect the fighters on the UFC 151 card. Alan Belcher, who was supposed to fight Vitor Belfort at UFC 153, now finds himself without an opponent.

Two men who were supposed to headline UFC 152, Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson, are now relegated to the co-main event. An event that was supposed to put the spotlight on the flyweights now puts the attention on Jon Jones.

UFC 151 could have seen Jake Ellenberger avenge one of his few losses against Jay Hieron. It could have provided guys like Abel Trujillo, Tim Means and Daron Cruickshank an opportunity to show improvement since their last fight.

Instead, Jon Jones selfishly denied a short-notice replacement. Yes, the champion turned down a fight with a man who usually fights a weight class down, has not trained for the fight and lost to a guy similar to Jones.

I have always found myself defending Jones when other fans randomly attacked him for his personality and for other reasons. But after this latest incident, I can no longer do that.

I am madder about Jones turning down a fight with Sonnen than when he got a DUI. Yes folks, I am madder about a man folding a mixed martial arts event than him breaking a law that has hurt so many in the past.

I guess I am just crazy like that.