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Lyoto Machida Turns Down Fight; Jon Jones Now Faces Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 (UPDATED)

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

Vitor Belfort at UFC 126Possibly the craziest day in UFC history just got crazier.

After UFC president Dana White cancelled UFC 151 due to an injury to title challenger Dan Henderson, the promotion started shifting fights around, moving light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to the Toronto fight card later in the month.

Just hours after the new main event for UFC 152 was announced, pitting Jones against former champion Lyoto Machida, another change has been made.

According to White, via a report by MMAFighting.com, Machida opted to turn down the fight with Jones. In his place, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort will move back up to 205 pounds from middleweight, where he’s currently been fighting, to face Jones in the headline bout for UFC 152 in Toronto.

Belfort later tweeted that he got a call directly from White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta offering him the fight with Jones.

He went on to say, “Where a lot of guys are acting like divas I think this is a big challenge for any fighter. I have all the respect for Jones. That’s why you can’t miss this competition. I will not let no one down. I come from the times of Carlson Gracie. He lives inside of me.”

Belfort earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Gracie, who passed away in 2006.

Belfort has been in Florida working with the Blackzilians, preparing for his upcoming bout against Alan Belcher at UFC 153 in Brazil, but will now step up on a month’s notice to battle for the UFC light heavyweight strap instead.

The UFC has not decided on a replacement for Belfort to face Belcher as of yet.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more UFC 151 cancellation news as it develops.

  • collideoverme

    To anyone who has said Jon jones doesn’t owe the UFC or anyone anything. Where does his coward ass think he would be if the UFC had never signed him? They weren’t obligated to do so! Every red cent in his bank account came because of the UFC. He should be fighting anyone they put in front of him when they tell him. I am a huge Sonnen fan but even I know Chael should have to take a few fights before getting a shot but the UFC called him. Plain and simple. I don’t think it will happen, but I hope Belfort ko’s Jones. Jones should be a lot less selfish and a lot more thankful.

    • aaronglenn

      Hell, I’ll fight Jon Jones if no one else will! What’s wrong with these guys?

    • LongyDongy

      Very interesting turn of events…Hendo is too incompetent and unprofesional to stay healthy within a week of the fight…a huge array of LHW’s turn down the fight with Bones…Machida the number one contender turns down the fight with Bones in a month…The UFC brass makes a card so weak that it only takes one guy to pullo out to cancel the entire show…but it is all Jon’s fault bc he turned down a fight with a MW in Sonnen who just came off a very bad loss…I cant really see how this is all Jonnies fault?

      • sc_01a350823f217ea607a08bd2c033d026

        Dude, I’ve read this same post on three different articles, how many times did you post the same thing? I know you’re trolling, but, Hendo having a training accident, in what way makes him incompetent? It doesn’t matter who or how many turned down the fight with JJ what matters is Chael took the fight, JJ had an opponent with almost the exact style and is a 185lb’er, and he refused to honor his contract and fight at UFC 151. It doesn’t matter who Chael lost to last, who he fought last or if he deserved a title shot, he doesn’t, he agreed to step up when his boss called and needed him to. I agree the UFC should have had a plan to go on with the fight no matter who pulled out but not having either headliner show up would have looked bad, worse than canceling, and people would of demanded their money back and the PPV wouldn’t have been watched.

        • kaldani15

          cant agree with you anymore man. you tell em!

        • stevefrancis

          I agree with LG, Hendo should be of blame here. How in the world did his team let him get injured 1week b4 showtime. Bottom line is, Bones in the Camp, and what he says goes!

    • jfishm1

      Great comments so far. I do agree that Jon should not be completely blamed for the falling apart of UFC 151. The card is pretty weak, and without a co main event with a lot of star power (No disrespect to Ellenberger or Hieron) the card was doomed to fail without Jon Jones and Hendo headlining. The UFC really needs to start making sure that the co-main event can sell itself if this should ever happen again.

      That being said, I don’t think Jon refusing taking the fight with Chael has anything to do with money or credentials. Jon would have made far more money fighting Chael than Hendo, as the ppv numbers would have been much higher, thus putting more money in Jon’s pocket. As far as credentials go, I highly doubt that Jon didn’t want to take the fight with Chael because he isn’t “worthy”. Chael is a pretty big name in the sport, and while he does have a dubious track record in the past, he has been winning fights against everyone other than Anderson Silva.

      Jon didn’t take this fight because of exactly what Greg Jackson said; it’s a lose lose. Technically, Jon didn’t prepare for Chael, and shouldn’t have to fight him for the sake of the UFC or its fighters. If Jon wiped the floor with Chael, everyone would say that Chael is a middleweight who came into the fight having not trained. If Jon lost, he would be a laughing stock for losing to a middleweight. For a thinker like Jon, who appears to be businessman first fighter second, it’s a lose lose.

      On a personal level, I am sick to my stomach. Jon Jones really could have saved the day here like so many other fighters have done in the past. It was quite alright to take the Shogun fight on such short notice but not ok to take this one. Jon is not going to win many fans here, and he had better hope he beats Vitor because he is on his way to becoming the most hated many in MMA.

      • bajafox

        Dude, I only wanna read one article, then the comments, not an article within an article

    • sofhanson

      Completely agree, jbj wouldnt have a penny to his name had the UFC never existed. Really bad character on his part, he bit the hand that feeds him. Where would Greg Jackson be if there was no ufc?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002352591498 keldricshannon

    Thank God we have some real fighters like Vitor wanting to step up and be a real man. Weidman vs. Belcher for number one MW contenders match also makes sense now.

  • muleyaddict

    Go to http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/nike-drop-jon-jones.html to sign a petition for Jon Jones to lose his Nike Sponsorship for refusing to fight Chael Sonnen and cancelling UFC 151.

    • collideoverme

      Signed

    • bjjjay

      Signed

    • roscuro987

      seriously?! LMAO!!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/Gruvalicious Josee Angel

      signed

    • MMAGod

      Anyone that signs that is just plain stupid. Like it or not, he had the right to turn down that fight. It’s the equivalent of giving the death penalty to a guy that got a parking ticket. You people need to get a life.

      • greaseygranny

        MMAGod. Why don’t you shove it up your chili ring. Who the fawk are you to be telling people their plain stupid and to get a life? I said it once before and I’ll say it again.

        Anyone claiming “GOD” in their name, in any way, shape or form, obviously has a small penis. It’s well known and universal. With that said. Why don’t you pull your mothers Alan Stryker FX-14 Penis Enlarger off of your 2 inch purple headed Jones boner. It’s not gonna help.

        Sign the thing already. We all know you’re going to. You’re a follower. So quit cracking on people for their opinions and follow like the bitch you are.

        • MMAGod

          @ greaseygranny: I think it is great that they allow people with special needs to post on here, such as yourself. Your posts are all full of uneducated garbage that nobody can relate to. Here’s a thought: Get out of your mother’s basement and come and talk to the rest of us adults when you do. Until then, go sign your petitions and continue screaming at the TV when things don’t go your way. You seem to be quite the keyboard warrior in your mommy’s basement. What a pathetic loser you come across as.

          • greaseygranny

            Strike a nerve with the small pee pee comment eh’? It is what it is bro. You can find comfort in the fact that it’s not by your choice. That little thing is handed down from your mom and dad. Just genetics. With that said, there’s all types of routes you can go to get it enlarged.

            For not, just do as told and follow my little bitch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherrod.mcclease sherrodmcclease

    Jones is a fiery crotch. I won’t watch that chump again. Burn bridges like a little punk. No respect in him whatsoever. Drunk ass fool.

  • bigwurm

    just signed it

  • phrankthetank

    So he was supposed to fight Hendo, a natural 185er, then he was supposed to fight machida, also a natural 185er(though he fights at 205), turned down sonnen, again, a 185er, turned down Weidman, a 185er, Anderson silva even offered to fight him! And he’s now fighting Belfort, a 185er… Will someone at 205 please stand up! Is there anyone left??

    • MMAGod

      That was exactly my thinking. Where in the hell are the guys that are actually in the 205lb. division? Seems to me that people should be pissed at more than just Jones here.

    • kaldani15

      silva actually offered to fight another 205lber not jones. Silva said he’d never fight jones.

  • SuperNate-AO

    Style-wise, Sonnen would have been the easiest fight for Jones…he should have took the easy payday. Good for you Vitor for showing balls. Vitor will probably get choked out but I would laugh if he flattened Jones. I like Jones but he could stand to get knocked on his ass at least once.

  • oswaldcobblepott

    Dang that fight with Hendo had way more intigue. Jones should fight Belfort and Sonnen in he same night to make up the deference!

  • christopherrolland

    Welcome to Jones making a complete market $$$$sale out of a lot of viewers this past 24hrs. Now people will tune in or order his fight just to hope to see him lose(or win if your a fanboy). welcome to the media people.

    • bajafox

      Actually it’s the opposite. I just saved $50 every time he’s on a card.

  • SuperNate-AO

    Christopherrolland that is an interesting view. That’s why I love this site. Opens my eyes at times. I guess the clues were there as Jones was worried before about Machida ppv numbers. I like different points of view. Love him or hate him…the ppv numbers will be great!

  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    I’m sure Jones will win and I wont be buying. I will be right here reading MMAWeekly’s play-by-play.

    Shame on Jones for turning down the Sonnen fight, but I don’t blame Machida for turning this down. He already lost to Jon Jones so if he does so again then his career is in big trouble. He should wait for a full fight camp.

  • mmafan59

    I hope Vitor beats Jones. Then, he can drop down to 185 and fight Silva for a super fight!

  • OMAHAK1LLA

    THIS JUST IN!!!! Vitor turned fight down, now it looks like Clay Guida has agreed to fill in CANT WAIT! WTF UFC. Dont have bum cards , i only was getting this for the Ellenberger fight anyway(Since i grew up wit him) but reality of it is ,is that jones would beat machida ,vitor and whoeva the hell else 9 out of ten times infact i liked the dude but thought he was a boring fighter after Vera just beacuse of the lack of competition , hes only been touched a couple times,never hurt and always unanimous “BORING ” but already great and none of this is his fault people need to question Hendo a little more,and the UFC should always hav stacked cards like that Nate Diaz Ben Henderson FOX Card coming up

    • MMAGod

      Maybe they will get BJ to step up and take the next Jones fight. There don’t seem to be any 205lb. guys willing to step up.

  • julianmoran

    Good decision. A lose/lose situation for Jones. He has nothing to gain from beating a MW fighter, while Vitor has the speed and power to ko Jones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000468891939 liemianbresenio

    Vitor getting Hendo’s shot AGAIN?! What is this, groundhog day?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.cheshire.5 kellycheshire

    People underestimate Vitor’s grappling and TDD. if he beats Jones then Jones should be forced to fight Glover Texiera and after Glover destroys him cut him from the ufc . We don’t need any primadonnas. It’s one of the reasons boxing is so corrupt. Or if Vitor gets injured then maybe bring in Gegard ;)

  • Mario

    I personally like this fight better than the rest!

    Jones vs. Vitor will be an interesting one to watch. This is really a ‘Super Fight’ between these two. Even if under the circumstances, I’m glad these type of fights can materialize.

    Jones may come in the favorite, but even without a proper training camp, it’s still a fight and anything can happen. Vitor is still as dangerous as they come, and has the power and speed to connect in an instant and knockout Jones.

  • me vs you

    i bet jones is wishing that he took that fight against chael now, because vito is gonna bring it to him like no other opponent that he has faced.
    this a much more dangerous fight for jones and i wouldn’t be surprised if vito knocks him the fuck out…and quickly.

    i think that jones and dana should have to pay all of the other fighters for ufc151 anyway, it’s there fault that the show cot cancelled. i mean if jones a “brand” now i know he can afford it and dana is doing alright, i’m sure…so stand up and do the right thing and pay those poor fighters, guys.

  • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

    Jones is a business man who’s good at fighting. These other guys are straight up fighters who are good at fighting. In the end it could be real bad business for Jones not wanting any other fight. That would suck to lose that Nike deal along with a lot of fans. I can’t believe Lyoto didn’t take the fight. I really wanted to see that. But Vitor is a very interesting fight so we’re in for a treat.

    • dathump

      No one has stated why Jones turned down Sonnen either, or how it went down, did he get a call and that was a knee jerk reation, or did he get time to think about it? was it because he didn’t think Sonnen deserved it? or did he just think the risk outweight the rewards? I personaly have no interest in watching Sonnen fight for a title, nor do i think he deserved it.
      These arn’t the brawlers of old, the UFC is as much to blame, They are always trying to make it bigger and better and more professional, the have turned it into big business and mainstreem, and then expect their fighters to treat it like a bar brawl and start swinging at the drop of a hat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066818422 juliushodges

    It’s crazy how so many people can wish so much hate on one guy…This card sucked from the get go. UFC got caught with trying to push one through with no other significant fights…I like Ellenberger but UFC signed Jay Hieron like 2 weeks ago… I think this should be a lesson for the UFC to start having true Co-Main events that can always step up in case of emergencies….I think personally as fan Jones should have took the fight but he didnt. Everyone is so surprised but I am not. I think you have certain champions like Jones, GSP that are so worried about game plans and what Greg Jackson thinks they loose site of the fact if your the best in the world or think you are you should fight. I respecet Chael for stepping up but lets be honest I heard Hendo got hurt like 10 days ago same time he Chael started his twitter war… I think he was calculating this potentially happening and was more ready then people realize. I am not that excited about Jones vs Vitor but Vitor is tough just worry about his cardio and the reach is going to be as always a huge problem… I rambled on too much sorry.

  • triangle choke

    As a huge Vitor Belfort fan, I hope he gets lucky and knocks Jon Jones out. That would be an early Christmas gift for me. :)

    • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

      You already ruined your boys victory by saying “gets lucky” lol. This fight is all good though. Vitor is awesome. And no weight cut now, and I’m sure hes in shape. War Vitor!

  • LongyDongy

    Dan is too incompetent and unprofessional to stay healthy for his fight that is one week away…a number of LHW contenders back away from the offer to fight Bones…Machida turns down a fight with Bones with a month to prepare…the UFC brass makes UFC 151 so weak that all it takes is one man to pull out for it to crumble…and this is all Jonnie’s fault bc he didnt take a fight with a non-deserving MW contender who lost his last fight in devastating fashion. Interesting indeed

    • MikeMc1983

      To just copy and paste the same comment in every single article? I know you want people to notice you, but quality of comment is more important than quantity.

      • MMAGod

        I am with you MikeMc1983. No matter how many times he cuts and pastes it- it still sounds idiotic!

  • ufcbuff

    Definitely lost a lot of respect for Jones on turning down the fight. As Dana said it himself, he has NEVER seen this happen, as I cannot recall this at all too, with me being a big UFC fan for 7 yrs now, and have watched all the UFC events, free and the PPV ones. There have been a lot of fight change that have happened throughout the years. And what I have loved about the UFC is that all those scheduled fighters accepted the change on short notice. Another reason I love the UFC and hate boxing, is because it is suppose to be filled with fighters and not prima donnas. I do fill sorry for the other fighters in the UFC 151 card who needed this for their livelihood. Also feel very bad for the fans that bought their tickets even though they will get refunded. But I am pretty sure there are a LOT of ticked out fans out there that will not get their plane tickets and hotel reservations that they made to see the event. Man, I sure hope Vitor knocks the crap out of Jones!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gruvalicious Josee Angel

    Nobody wants to see Jones fight Belfort, I will not pay to see it nor will I even go to a bar to see this fight. UFC plugging in fighters like Jon Jones = total fail.

  • zap

    Joe and Dana are rushing things. Take some time and put on a proper title fight

  • http://www.facebook.com/wyman.martin.7 wymanmartin

    vitor will get injured in training like he always does and will not fight jones.i cant understand why jones didnt fight sonnen cause dan and sonnen are very simular except dans right hand and chaels wrestling is better.lyto machida wanted a rematch so bad but refused to fight in a month.that makes no sense.jones was scared he would lose his belt and he probrally would.but belfort will never fight jones

  • atmosphere

    “I will not let no one down.”

    so he’ll disappoint everybody. HIGH FIVE!

  • KingSlaughter

    HEY GUYS I HAVE BREAKING NEWS JUST IN!!! VITOR BELFORT IS INJURED AND RONDA ROUSEY IS NOW FIGHTING JONES FOR THE TITLE…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066818422 juliushodges

    BREAKING NEWS JON JONES REFUSES TO FIGHT RONDA ROUSEY HE DIDNT HAVE TIME TO TRAIN JUDO AND ARMBAR DEFENSE….

  • http://www.facebook.com/wes.thomas.92 westhomas

    Why all the hate towards Jones. He did nothing wrong. He is not the first fighter to turn down a fight. The UFC is to blame not Jones. Some of you people sound real stupid. Just looking for any reason to be negative.

  • soboc1

    All the rambling and whining you cyber punks do here is not gonna change anything. Most of you have never even been in a real fight much less trained MMA and don’t know what it is to even step in the Octagon. The worst ones are the ones calling fighters p***ies. There is no such thing as a professional fighter that is a p***y, if it was easy all of us would be fighting instead of talking smack on a forum. Get a life, if you don’t like whats going on, don’t watch it. I did it with boxing, you could do the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.r.shields.3 davidshields

    i agree with the majority of fans.dana white should have striped him of his belt for refusing to fight….i will no longer pay for any fight jones is involved with…