UFC 151 will go down in history as being the first event under the Zuffa umbrella that was cancelled. The chain of events started when Dan Henderson, who was scheduled to square off against Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, suffered a partially torn MCL in training.
Then former middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen was offered the fight against Jones. Sonnen accepted the fight, but when Jones was presented the fight, he declined. After Jones decided to turn down the fight, that's when the UFC officially cancelled the card.
A lot of the fans were very upset at the cancellation, and that included a lot of the fighters that were supposed to fight on the card. Some fighters on the card have had their fights pushed back as far as December. Charlie Brenneman was one of the fortunate guys who didn't have to wait too long to get back into the Octagon.
The welterweight returns three weeks later than originally anticipated as he will face Kyle Noke on the preliminary portion of the card this Saturday at UFC 152. The Brenneman vs. Noke fight can be seen on Facebook, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
It didn't take Brenneman too long to figure something was up when he received a few curious messages.
"I was working out that morning at nine and then at noon," Brenneman told Bleacher Report. "I got done with the noon workout and was getting ready to eat my meal. I saw that I had a couple missed calls, which is never good. One was from my brother and the other one was from my manager. Then I received a weird text and I put two and two together. I found out about an hour after everyone else did."
Brenneman was in complete shock and utter disbelief at first, but after thinking about everything, he knew everything would be okay.
"My immediate reaction was disbelief," Brenneman stated. "I couldn't believe it. Then, almost immediately, I thought to myself, 'Crazy stuff has happened before and this is another step in the journey.'
"I was surprised on one hand, but at the same time, I immediately thought, 'I can sort of believe this happened.' I just had to stay even-keeled and realize, one way or another, this is going to work itself out."
Fighters across the board have said if they were in Jones' exact situation, they would have taken the fight regardless of who the opponent was. You can add Brenneman to the list.
"I would have completely, hands down, one million percent said I would have accepted the fight," Brenneman said. "I mean, you're the best. If the rules were reversed and Jones was on his honeymoon and they (UFC) wanted him to defend his belt and he wasn't training, then yeah, that would have completely made sense (in turning down the fight)."
Some people have said they have lost respect for Jones, but Brenneman isn't one of them. He just doesn't respect the decision the champion made.
"I have respect for a lot of people," Brenneman said. "Those people have done good things and bad things. It balances itself out that way. I can't say I don't respect Jon Jones because he is the best in our industry. I just don't respect his decision (of not fighting Sonnen)."
The fans only see the fighters when they are in the cage, making personal appearances, etc. They don't see the blood, sweat and tears that go into preparation for a fight. Brenneman is grateful to be fighting so soon after the cancellation of UFC 151, but personally he would have preferred to fight three weeks ago.
"Fight-wise, I'm of the lucky ones because I'm fighting Saturday," Brenneman said. "To be honest, this gave me a full eight weeks (of training camp), which is a typical camp for me. I would have had only about four-and-a-half weeks to train for UFC 151. It may help me in that aspect, but I would have preferred to fight at UFC 151. I felt as great as I ever had.
"From a personal standpoint, people don't realize that this is my life. I had plans for September 1. The money I was going to make I had to completely abort because of what happened and now fighting four weeks later."
You can follow me on Twitter @fightclubchi.
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