Jon Jones infamously remarked that he “felt like a piece of meat” during the furore that surrounded the cancellation of UFC 151. Jones was blamed for the cancellation by the UFC executives, including president Dana White, after refusing to accept Chael Sonnen as a stand-in opponent for an injured Dan Henderson.
Today White appeared on the Jim Rome show and had Jones’ comment put to him. “Jon Jones said he felt like he was treated like a piece of meat by the UFC,” needled Rome.
“I wonder how the piece of meat was feeling when we bought him the Bentley,” quipped White, a reference to the Bentley Continental that Jones acquired last year and which earlier this year he crashed into a New York street pole at night, earning a DUI in the process.
White also took the opportunity to contrast Jones’ refusal to accept Sonnen as a stand-in with Anderson Silva’s agreement this week to join the UFC 153 card on short notice for a light-heavyweight fight with Stephan Bonnar. The two situations aren’t really comparable but White juxtaposed them anyway.“
“Silva called to say 'Hey Boss, I'll fight at 205 and save the show in Las Vegas on 8 days notice' but it was a few hours too late,” White related.
“So when this happened, I called him up and he stepped up and said 'Absolutely, I'll fight. I only have 3 weeks to make 185 and can't do that right now. But I will fight at 205.’ And I thought, ‘How can I find someone at 205 willing to fight him when we couldn't find at 205 willing to fight Jon Jones on a month's notice?’
“Then I get a call from Stephan Bonnar and he is pumped. He says that Silva is the perfect style for him and he wants this fight more than anything. Does this fight make sense? Of course it doesn't. But the bottom line is that Anderson and Bonnar stepped up.”
White added that for him “the biggest shocker about Jon ‘Bones’ Jones not fighting is that he was coming off of a long camp and ready to fight Dan Henderson. He was ready to go for a fight and Chael, who hadn't been training and was smaller, was willing to fly to Vegas that night to face him.”
But that might not be entirely the case - Henderson’s injury occurred three weeks before it was notified to the UFC, by which time there wasn’t enough time to save the event. Sonnen claimed to have no prior knowledge of the situation but as he and Henderson are close friends and team mates (though they train at different facilities), it is stretching the bounds of credibility to think that no mention was made.