Over the past 24 hours, UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones has endured more verbal shots than a proverbial punching bag, taking the brunt of the public’s criticism surrounding the cancellation of UFC 151 based on his refusal to fight Chael Sonnen on short notice. However, as difficult as the fallout has been for Jones, the 25-year old hasn’t wavered in his stance that turning the bout down was the right thing to do for him personally.
When asked to address the matter, Jones made it clear he did not regret his decision but did sympathize for the fans and fighters whose lives had been negatively impacted by the situation.
“I signed a contract a long time ago to fight Dan Henderson. That’s what I studied for, and that’s what I prepared myself for. To take a fight with a different opponent in which I would basically have three days of training before traveling and then starting to cut weight I just thought would be the dumbest idea ever. I wouldn’t have been properly prepared,” explained Jones in an interview with MMAJunkie. “Chael is completely different fighter. This is war. This is strategy. You have to go in there prepared and know that you did your homework. I wouldn’t be the same warrior if I just jumped in there blindly and was cutting weight while I was trying to prepare for the fight.”
“I definitely apologize to the other fighters on the card. I feel terrible, but it also wasn’t my decision to cancel the whole card. I don’t make those decisions,” the polarizing pugilist continued. “I apologize to the people that lost money on tickets and travel and things like that. I don’t apologize for my decision, but I do apologize for the way it affected people. I hope people can understand I was just trying to do the best thing for my career.”
Jones concluded the conversation by explaining he was moving forward, focusing on his next fight rather than the way things have unfolded in the wake of this week’s unfortunate news.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC