In the aftermath of UFC 151's cancellation, there is a lot of debate regarding the decision of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to refuse a bout with Chael Sonnen. Ultimately, the refusal was a death sentence for the PPV, and UFC 151 now holds the distinction of being the only canceled event in UFC history.
Why didn't Jones take the fight? It appears that his camp believed that Sonnen had been training in secret for this fight, considering that injured challenger Dan Henderson is a friend and teammate.
With only eight days notice, Jones did not want to risk putting together a new game plan against an opponent who could have potentially been training for an extra week. Never mind the fact that Jones has been preparing for this fight since April and was light-years ahead of his opponent in terms of preparedness.
By now, many of you have read my article entitled 8 Fighters That Took Fights on Very Short Notice and Won. A big believer in balance, I think it's only fair that I present to you the other side of this coin.
Here is a look at 8 fighters who took fights on very short notice and lost.
UFC 85: Matt Hughes vs. Thiago Alves
Original Fight: None
When UFC 85 lost a pair of main events due to injury, the event was clearly in trouble. With the biggest fight on the card being a middleweight scrap between Michael Bisping and Jason Day, it was obvious that this PPV was in need of some star power.
Forever a company man, Hall of Famer and former champion Matt Hughes agreed to fight on short notice against welterweight contender Thiago Alves.
Alves would fail to make weight for the bout, but Hughes went into the last-minute main event anyway. Unfortunately for the farm boy, Alves was the better man, scoring a flying knee knockout in the second round.
UFC 149: Brian Ebersole vs. James Head
Original Fight: Claude Patrick vs. James Head
In early July, Claude Patrick became the latest victim of 2012's injury plague that ravaged multiple fight cards.
Stepping to the plate with less than three weeks to prepare, Brian Ebersole delayed an announced move to lightweight in order to bail out the UFC.
Unable to work the larger Head to the canvas, Ebersole lost a unanimous decision that solidified his thoughts that welterweight isn't the right place for his smaller frame.
UFC 142: Carlo Prater vs. Erick Silva
Original Fight: Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Erick Silva
What once was booked as a battle of incredible welterweight prospects, Siyar Bahadurzada and Erick Silva were not destined to square off at UFC 142.
When Bahadurzada was forced from the event due to an injury, former WEC fighter Carlo Prater was tapped as a replacement. Although Prater had previous defeated both Melvin Guillard and Carlos Condit, he wasn't considered to be much of a challenge for Silva.
Silva was fierce and sent Prater to the floor in the bout's opening seconds. With relentless ground and pound, the stoppage was called only 29 seconds into the first round.
Yes, I am aware that Carlo Prater technically won this bout via disqualification for a rogue strike to the back of the head. It is a ridiculous judgment made by referee Mario Yamasakai, and Prater should not be looked at as the winner by any stretch of the imagination.
UFC 146: Dave Herman vs. Roy Nelson
Original Fight: Bigfoot Silva vs. Roy Nelson
UFC 146 was the heavyweight card that couldn't seem to find its stability. Every single bout on the main card saw an alteration in participants, and Roy Nelson's was no exception.
The Alistair Overeem scandal moved Frank Mir out of a bout with Cain Velasquez and saw Bigfoot Silva shifted into a fight with Velasquez. Additionally, Gabriel Gonzaga was moved into a bout with Nelson, instead of his regularly scheduled fight against Shane del Rosario.
Gonzaga unfortunately found himself bitten by the injury bug and was forced to withdraw. Not to leave Roy Nelson in the cold, a new opponent was found, but it was not someone who was already booked for the May event.
Dave "Pee Wee" Herman was 1-1 in the UFC, and when he got the call to face "Big Country," he didn't hesitate. Maybe he should have, as Herman was knocked out only 51 seconds into the first round and hasn't been seen since.
UFC 146: Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve
Original Fight: Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve
Dave Herman wasn't the only late addition to the UFC 146 card who lived to regret his decision. Strikeforce import Lavar Johnson stepped up to face submission specialist Stefan Struve on only nine days notice.
Mark Hunt was originally in the bout, but pulled out due to an injury. With Johnson only two weeks outside of a TKO victory over Pat Barry, he was in shape for battle and ready to step up to the plate.
Unfortunately, Struve was already preparing for a bout against a heavy-handed striker with a limited submission game. The Skyscraper pulled out an armbar to earn the victory only 65 seconds into the opening frame.
UFC on Fox 4: Jamie Varner vs. Joe Lauzon
Original Fight: Terry Etim vs. Joe Lauzon
The first time that Jamie Varner agreed to a short-notice fight with the UFC, he upset undefeated striking phenom Edson Barboza by earning a decisive first-round TKO. Unfortunately, he wouldn't have the same luck the second time around.
Replacing an injured Terry Etim, Varner agreed to meet submission standout Joe Lauzon on the main card of UFC on Fox 4 with less than one month's notice.
The battle was an incredible testament to Varner's heart and gamesmanship, but he was unable to come out on top in the contest that is a surefire nominee for 2012's Fight of the Year.
After two-and-a-half rounds of intense competition, Joe Lauzon used a brilliant sweep to lock in a triangle choke and earn the submission victory.
UFC 128: Dan Miller vs. Nate Marquardt
Original Fight: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Nate Marquardt
An exciting middleweight contest between Yoshihiro Akiyama and Nate Marquardt was an important piece of the UFC 128 puzzle. That is, until the Tohoku earthquake ravaged Japan one week prior to the event.
Akiyama returned to his homeland to be with his family during their time of need. It looked as if Marquardt, a top-five middleweight, would be without an opponent. After all, who would step up to fight someone so dangerous on such short notice?
Dan Miller, that's who.
Long admired for his endless supply of heart and willingness to take a short-notice bout, Miller agreed to put his momentum on the line and face Marquardt with little time to prepare.
It would prove to be a bad decision, as Miller was dominated by the now-Strikeforce welterweight champion.
Pride Shockwave 2004: Mark Hunt vs. Wanderlei Silva
Original Fight: Wanderlei Silva vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
Typically I wouldn't include this fight on the list, as Wanderlei was in preparation for a bout with Kazushi Sakuraba. Considering that his opponent shifted from 170-pound submission specialist into a 280-pound striking machine on only two days notice, I think it's an exception to the rule.
When Sakuraba was forced out of this bout due to an injury, the promotion turned to K-1 kickboxing champion Mark Hunt as a late opponent for Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva.
The fight was closely contested, and commentators Randy Couture and Bas Rutten both expressed disagreement with Silva's split-decision loss.
This was the first loss for Silva in more than four years, snapping an 18-fight winning streak.