UFC 151 Cancelled: Jon Jones Rejection of Chael Sonnen Fight Draws Fire

Nick Caron@@nicholascaronAnalyst IAugust 28, 2012

Photo: MMAweekly.com
Photo: MMAweekly.com

UFC 151's cancellation has brought quite a bit of controversy to the UFC and particularly Jon Jones' head trainer, Greg Jackson, who suggested that the champion not accept a fight with Chael Sonnen on short notice (via FCFighter.com).

Although Jackson did not tell Jones what decision to make, it is assumed that the UFC light heavyweight champion took his trainer's advice to heart and opted to turn down the bout which in turn caused the UFC to shut down the entire event. 

Jackson had also been criticized by UFC president Dana White for causing problems for the sport, including creating boring fights in addition to encouraging his fighters to reject proposed fights.

Even days after the incident, Jackson is still hearing it from various members of the media. And even his colleagues are beginning to take a closer look at what he's doing. 

Cesar Gracie, head trainer of Nick and Nate Diaz, Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez and other top-level fighters, told FCFighter.com that he believes Jackson is going about his business in the wrong way:

"...the guys I admired coming up were the Chuck Liddells of the world...the champs that fought anybody, and I see the people out of Greg Jackson’s and it’s a different approach. I don’t think that approach is going to capture the imagination and trust of the fans.”

Although Gracie concedes that a Jones-Sonnen fight might not have been what the Jackson camp was looking for, he still believes that the fight should have been accepted. From the aforementioned FCFighter.com article:

“I’m not privy to their circumstances, but from looking at it just cut and dry, I wouldn’t do the same thing...I wouldn’t tell my guy, 'don’t fight' because Chael and Henderson are similar. They’re wrestlers who pack a hard punch and it’s a very similar fight, except Chael hasn’t been training. So I would have definitely had them fight."