• UFC 151 cancellation

Bisping weighs in on Jones decision, Jackson explains

ESPN staff
August 24, 2012

British middleweight Michael Bisping has criticised UFC light heavyweight champion Jon 'Bones' Jones for refusing to fight Chael Sonnen on short notice.

Jones had been preparing for a title defence against Dan Henderson at UFC 151 next weekend, before injury forced Henderson to withdraw. With few other options the UFC put forward Sonnen as a replacement for Henderson - but Jones rejected the proposal.

That decision forced the cancellation of UFC 151 on Thursday - the first time in the UFC's history that a pay-per-view event has had to be abandoned.

And now middleweight Bisping has stepped in to criticise Jones - noting that he was forced to fight Sonnen at short notice in January due to injuries to other fighters. It was a bout 'The Count' went on to lose, costing him a title shot against middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

"Jones said he's not fighting Chael on eight days' notice. I did," Bisping said on Twitter. "Just saying."

Jones had maintained that he was unwilling to give Sonnen, who has only recently moved up to light heavyweight, a title shot without the American earning it in the Octagon. His trainer, Greg Jackson, explained that the decision to turn down Sonnen this time was because of the short time-frame involved.

"I was asked if it was smart to take a fight on three days' notice and I don't think it's smart to do that," Jackson said on The MMA Show. "Three days to fight a guy that calibre is not a smart thing to do."

However, UFC president Dana White described Jones' actions as a "sport killer".

"I'm not trying to ruin the sport or cancel an event," Jackson responded. "I don't know about that stuff, but I thought it wasn't a wise course of action."

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