Jon Jones opens up about the fall-through of the original UFC 151 event following the pull-out of Dan Henderson and his refusal to accept Chael Sonnen as a short-notice replacement. Jones says that his refusal to accept Sonnen was motivated by several factors. Not only is he different to Henderson stylistically, Sonnen also doesnâ€™t have contender status at present.
â€śHe has a 5-6 record in the UFC and lost his last two fights. Why would I put a world championship on the line against a very dangerous opponent but one who hasnâ€™t even remotely earned the right to consider himself to be in the position to fight for the world title,â€ť Jones tells MMA Fighting's 'MMA (After) Hour'
â€śThatâ€™s like winning the jackpot and I refuse to be anybodyâ€™s jackpotâ€¦ I clearly said that I would not allow Chael Sonnen to jump the line by using his mouth. And what was he doing? Jumping the line by using his mouth. Its like, why would I contradict myself when I clearly just said that I think Chael Sonnen is a racist? The way he treats Brazilians is totally uncalled for; I have zero respect for him.
â€śI am honoured to fight Vitor Belfort - he is a Christian like I am, a respectable man, a good classy clean-cut guy. Chael Sonnen is a punk, heâ€™s a thug. He calls himself the American Gangster but he ratted out all his friends in that money laundering situation? thatâ€™s not gangster! Heâ€™s a straight punk. He wonâ€™t be rememberedâ€¦ Chaelâ€™s words hold no substance.â€ť
That said, Jones says that it wasnâ€™t just Sonnen who was getting refused - any other fighter would have been turned down with the exception of one.
â€śThe only person I would have fought would have been Rashad Evans because he is very similar to Dan Hendersonâ€¦ Rashad Evans, stylistically, would be the only match similar enough to what we had trained for,â€ť he says.
Jones also talks about the need to think about his multi-million dollar career and his legacy when making these decisions, pointing out that he is closing in on Tito Ortizâ€™s record of title defences.
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