Greg Jackson Explains Why Jon Jones Didn’t Take the UFC 151 Chael Sonnen Fight (Audio)

August 28, 2012
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Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones UFCThe mixed martial arts world was shocked when UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson card was not only undergoing change, it was being cancelled altogether.

The key reason cited by the UFC’s brash boss was that when UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ opponent, Dan Henderson, fell out due to injury, Jones declined to face Chael Sonnen as a replacement on one week’s notice.

Jones has since received the brunt of the criticism for UFC 151’s cancellation, but he didn’t make the decision to turn down the Sonnen fight alone. He was counseled by his management and head coach Greg Jackson, the latter of which freely admits that he told Jones that it wasn’t professional to switch up opponents on three day’s notice, whether it was Chael Sonnen or someone else.

Jackson spoke over the phone with, explaining his stance on Jones declining the fight. Check out what he had to say in his own words.

  • demetriousgonzalz

    im not even goin to listen to this bs jackson do us all a favor and kill yourself or retire lmao

    • kylesmith

      How can a manager have such little confidence in his fighters? First he tells Carlos Condit to run away from Nick Diaz and now he’s afraid that his champion who is coming off a 10-week training camp will lose to a middleweight who is just coming off a loss. They’ve got a CHICKEN problem in Albuquerque.

  • bajafox

    No point in wasting bandwidth on this moron

    • kylesmith

      Yeah, I’ll tell you exactly what he said: “BLAH BLAH BLAH I have no confidence in my fighters. BLAH BLAH BLAH I acknowledge that I coach inferior fighters and the only way we win is with ridiculous gameplans like running away from our opponents. BLAH BLAH BLAH I don’t trust my guys to fight smaller fighters, even when my guys are coming off of full training camps.” What. A. Pussy.

  • MaritalArtist

    Look, I’m not saying Greg Jackson is an idiot; obviously he does many things right. He probably made the wrong call this time. Who knows….. For all we know, he could’ve told jones that it didn’t matter, but if he decided to wait, to blame it on Greg. Maybe he said “you could make a whole lot more money fighting sonnen if you hype up the event for a few months.”

  • dgs

    I asked this question on another thread and it was never answered, so let’s try again…

    How has Greg Jackson become an MMA coach/trainer to elite athletes in the sport? What is his background, what are his credentials, has he ever competed?

    I ask these questions, because the only coaches/trainers I know of in the sport of MMA who deserve to wear the names “coach/trainer,” have all competed in the early days of the sport. As an example, I train at the Guy Mezger gym in Addison (but I was with him when he was in Dallas, been with him for over six years now) and I think anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the sport knows who Guy is and why he is infinitely qualified to be an MMA coach/trainer.

    But Greg Jackson, what has the man done to warrant his title? Obviously his fighters do well in the sport, I’m just real curious how he got to where he is now. Personally, I would only allow myself to be trained by someone who’s walked the walk so to speak.

    • laleggenda27

      If you look at any sport, you’ll see that a great number of coaches never competed professionally. Many of the absolute greatest coaches of all time never played their respective sport. In fact, it’s a generally accepted idea that the greatest athletes make terrible coaches and executives. My point is that just because someone doesn’t have the physical tools to be a profession coach, that doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t have the mental acumen and knowledge to be a great coach. Cus D’Amato, Angelo Dundee, Teddy Atlas, and Manny Stewart never boxed professionally, yet all became world renowned trainers.

      • dgs

        While I appreciate your response, and generally agree with you, do you know Greg Jackson’s background in the sport? Has he ever competed to the best of your knowledge?

        • According to wikipedia he created his own martial art called Gaidojutsu .

          I think alot of people flock to Jackson’s camp because he always has a gameplan going in to a fight. Like him or hate him…his fighters win alot of fights. But he creates VERY boring fights…guida/maynard for example.

          My personal opinion…he is killing the sport. The Guida/Maynard fight was inexcusable. His fighters always seem to be going out there to not loose a fight instead of going out there to win a fight…I think if Bones sticks with him too long he is going to loose any and all fans he has.

          • dathump

            Its the same story, different name. right from the first UFC it was the gracie’s with their bjj, then the ground and pounders, now Jackson and the point fighters, all looking for the edge over their opponenet. With so many fighters being so versitile it does end up being a chess match and thats Jacksons job to figure out the chess match. You rarly see Jackson fighters outpointing when they are at the lower levels or against one dimentional fighters, but yea, the high profile Jackson fights seem that way. Not to worry though, once a team finds a way around his pount system it will open up again.

  • RubeKegal

    Honestly I agree with Jackson’s camp and Bones.

    Chael has been talking smack for weeks now. I believe Dan was injured for longer than we were told and Chael was mouthing off knowing the oppurtunity was hot and he was already training for Bones while we were led to believe it was Hendo all along.

    • I have to agree with the Sonnen knowing ahead of time theory. Just seems a bit too convenient. I think there were alot more parts to this story that no one will ever know…

  • wiiliamstanley

    I bet if Jackson was in any situation like a bar fight or just having to defend himself, he would size the guy up, grab a pen and paper, run to the bathroom to write out a plan of attack. It would probably say something like “run”. What a slap ****! It was Cheal Sonnen with no training cam at all! Jones would have had it in the bag.

  • mma fanatic1982

    idk y they keep posting the stories lol, nobody is going to change they minds. U going to have ppl like me who think he shouldve fought, i mean jbj was training for a pressure wrestler with a big right hand and chael is the same pressure wrestler but without the worry of the right hand. If it was a complete diff style mathcup than what hes been training for, for example, a striker with bjj, or just a real.elusive great striker like machida, then maybe it makes it ok to duck on that short notice. But sonnen is the same fighter style as hendo so it shouldntve been an issue. Esp if jbj is going to talk trash back saying come say it to my face. Sorry rambled lol point is theres some like me who think it was cowardly, and some that think the opposite. Plz stop posting these stories mmaweekly, lol we get what happened and have all already shared our thoughts on everyone involved.

    • rsnowbass

      You’re an idiot. Training for a right handed fighter for 3 months, then on 3 or 9 days notice, you think you’re just up and ready for a southpaw?

      You should change your username.

      • macgrubber

        When the southpaw has no standup and you have a massive reach advantage i dont see the problem

        • rsnowbass

          Hey there again Straight Edge Grub. Still a keyboard warrior I see.

          I was a little harsh on MMA Fanatic1982 so my apologies.

          Plain and simple, Jon Jones should have taken the fight with Sonnen, especially after their back and forth on Twitter. All I’m saying is that it’s not as simple as you and MMA Fanatic1982 are making it seem to go from training for a righty to a lefty on basically no notice.

  • rs

    greg jackson is the yoko ono of the ufc

  • As champion shouldn’t you be prepped to fight anyone knowing that injuries happen? He should know in the back of his head a select few guys who would step up. When your so well rounded it shouldn’t matter, I’m pretty sure he’s seen Chael fight several times. I don’t blame Greg Jackson, smart guy and makes sense but at the end of the day it’s JJ who could have said, let’s fight, I’ll take it, I don’t care, I’m here to fight any wrestler, striker or submission specialist.

  • yrucrying

    As a champion I think him or any Champion deserve more that an 8 day notice. Not only for respect of the fighters but respect for the champioship. Dana White now cares more about the money than anything else.

  • Maine2Alaska

    bones is acting like some biatch.. not a warrior..I really want to see Belfort lay JBJ out on his skinny pre madonna ass and then while bones is dazed, You hear Buffer say “Finish Him!” and then Belfort quickly jumps on him and snaps both of those lanky fly swatter arms in half…Buffer says “Falwless Victory” and Belfort jumps up and yells “weedeeed ehht!”

  • mma fanatic1982

    its cool its your opinion “snowbass”. i dont see must diff in styles, the lefty is the only diff between them and chael not known for being a tricky left handed fighter. anyways, jbj shoukdve fought i think. god bless.

  • gnodeb

    Greg Jackson is just to calm and polite. That’s his problem. People are not interested in fights, just in hype and Greg’s camp is really bad with it. I think everybody can remember “I’m not impressed with your performance” by GSP :P. That was hilarious.

    Funny thing is that people who hate Greg usually prize Sonnen as a real fighter. Sonnen has only one win by submission. Everything else is win by keeping his opponent on the ground. That is a text book L&P. Without trash talking abilities he would be no different then Ben Askren.

    It is insane to compare JJ or AS with Sonnen. Try to remember any Sonnens highlight where he actually done some damage in actual fight. Try to think about GSP, Condit, JJ, Carwin, Marquard… Or AS for example. That is just insane…

  • The crazy thing is that both Sonnen and Greg Jackson are the thinking guys here. Jackson for treating this like a professional sport, and Sonnen for being smart enough to milk the media and neanderthals. The bellend of the story is Dana who got pissy and threw his toys out of the pram.

    With Dana White, unless you’re a hunky marketable asskisser, the rule is win or you’re out.

  • diazfan209

    I would have had no problem with Jones refusing a replacement fight if he hadn’t talked smack with the replacement fighter days before the opportunity to fight presented itself.

    It would have been a smarter move to just lie to the public and stick to the statement that Jon Jones will only fight the best challenger for him, but they alluded to the fact that Chael Sonnen is too dangerous to face without preparing a gameplan.

    He claims he doesn’t need to prove his toughness, so why talk smack?

    He claims he only wants to fight the best challenge for him, so why avoid the only fighter that’s truly challenged Anderson Silva?

    If this guy wasn’t such a flip flopper, I’d be fine with his “decision”, but he just comes off as a deceiving douchebag when he says one thing and then doesn’t back it up.

  • mma fanatic1982

    agreed!!!!!! jbj says what sounds good, but his actions never reflect his words! It goes all the way back to the rashad beef. He said he never fight him, but when the fame or his stock started rising, when he got asked again it changed to dana the boss so if he says it then i have too. And here we are again lol dana says fight chael but oh it is up to him now lol. I personally dont have a prob with two friends fighting like cerrone and melvin, its buisness not personal, but dont say i wont fight this guy cause we friends but then fight him when u think u can win a belt. I could go on but all in all i totally agree with DIAZFAN! Lol that sucks to agree with a diaz haha sorry bro i just cant stand nick. godbless.

  • BlackDog2009

    It could be argued that Jackson ruined GSP. When’s the last time GSP knocked someone out or submitted anyone? It could be argued that Jackson ruined the Condit vs Diaz fight, Condit ketp saying “it’s gonna be a dog fight” and he fooled us and Diaz too. Also many fighters of his lost their fights in the recent Strikeforce card, Including Julie Kedzie vs Miesha Tate, but then again, Kedzie was going headhunting in that fight and that was fight of the night material. So yeah, many things can be argued about Jackson but then again many of his fighters make exciting fights too: Kedzie vs Tate (as I mentioned), Cowboy Cerrone vs Nate Diaz. With all that said, Jones lost my respect. And I hope he pays the price for letting so many fans down, his fellow fighters down, and his employers down. It was a dikc move and Jackson didn’t help it any.

  • mike