UFC 151 has been cancelled after Dan Henderson injured his knee during training. He was set to fight light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones.
41-year-old Henderson suffered a partial MCL tear in his right knee, forcing him to withdraw from the September 1 fight that was supposed to take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
UFC president Dana White said this is the first time in 11 years an event has been cancelled.
“This is probably one of my all-time lows,” White said during a conference call Thursday.
White said he tried to salvage the event by offering the title fight to Chael Sonnen, who accepted, but Jones declined to fight Sonnen with only eight days notice. At 25, Jones is the youngest champion in UFC history.
White said he was disgusted that Jones declined to fight Sonnen. He said:
“We’ve never, ever had a fighter refuse to fight someone. As much as he’s won and with all the things he’s accomplished in a short amount of time, he’s been a champion that hasn’t been very popular. I don’t think this is going to do wonders for his popularity.”
White, who has never been one to bite his tongue, called Jones’ trainer Greg Jackson a “f–king sport killer.” Jackson apparently told Jones that fighting Sonnen on such short notice would be the biggest mistake of his whole career.
Jones, who came into UFC in 2008, will fight Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in the main event of the September 22 card in Toronto. The event was originally numbered UFC 152 but will be rebranded as UFC 151 because of the cancellation.
What do you think of UFC 151 being cancelled because of Hendo’s injury? Do you think Jones should have accepted the fight against Sonnen?