By: King Eddie
Yet again, Dana White is not a happy man. After Dan Henderson withdrew from next Saturday's fight with Jon Jones due to injury, Chael Sonnen stepped up as a new challenger. The UFC went to work to make new promo and push this new and exciting matchup. The only problem with that. . . . Jones was not down with the matchup. Dana White became furious.
Within hours, UFC 151 would officially be known as the ghost card. The entire event, for the first time in Zuffa's 11 year ownership, had been canceled. With one glimmer of hope coming from the crumble of UFC 151, Jon Jones agreed to meet newly crowned #1 contender, Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 instead. His title would be on the line on somewhat short notice, and the fans would see a fight that interest them. Everything worked out great. BUT. . . that could not possibly be the end of the story.
In a gut wrenching turn of events, Dana White was told by Lyoto Machida, that he would not take the fight on so short a notice. Yet again here we are. A stacked division, and nobody wants to fight. Not the Champ, not the contender. In fact, the only one who seemed to want to sign a bout agreement today was an out of shape 185er by the name of Chael Sonnen who hasn't trained since losing his title match to Anderson Silva.
In the end, yet another former 185er, Vitor Belfort agreed to step up to the challenge and face Jon Jones at UFC 152. For now, it seems that Dana White can rest. Or at least try to. The main event for the next card is set, but the re-evaluation of his stable of top contenders may be under closer inspection in the coming months. I for one assume that there will be a company memo recieved by all the fighters within the next few days reminding them of just exactly what they are in the company to do, and the consequences if they do not. Interesting stuff.
Our thoughts go out to Mr. Dana White in these confusing and troubling times.