Nobody can step inside the mind of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to say what exactly his deepest thoughts were when he got the call that Dan Henderson was injured and had to pull out of UFC 151 and the offer came in for him to fight Chael Sonnen instead.
In the end, Jones declined the fight with Sonnen. He will instead fight Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 on the Sept. 22 in Toronto.
According to UFC president Dana White, Jones knew his decision could potentially cause the cancellation of the entire show. And when the UFC’s top 205-pound fighter opted not to fight Sonnen, UFC 151 was scrapped.
Since the card was canceled, fighters from the undercard, as well as a slew of other UFC competitors, have taken to Twitter and Facebook while absolutely unloading on Jones for choosing to forgo the fight with Sonnen and wait to fight at a later date.
Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar can’t tell you what Jon Jones was thinking about on Thursday any more than anybody else could.
“You don’t know the whole story and everybody’s side of it. It’s kind of crazy,” Edgar told MMAWeekly Radio on Thursday.
What Edgar can do, however, is provide prospective if it were he who was in Jones’ place. For almost two years, Edgar reigned as UFC lightweight champion and stepped up for the UFC on a couple of occasions when they asked something special of him.
Edgar can’t tell Jones what he did is right or wrong, but in the same situation, it’s likely the New Jersey native would have taken the fight.
“I think I would take the fight,” said Edgar. “If I had a full camp to prepare, and this guy only had eight days, I think I would, but you don’t know. I think it all depends on match-ups and everything.”
One key element that played a factor in Jones’ decision was the advice of his coach, Greg Jackson, who was not a big fan of accepting a bout with Sonnen on such short notice.
Edgar admits that his team would always play a role in his choice for when, who and where to fight, but the decision still lands on his shoulders no matter what.
“I’d like to say I would (take the fight). I don’t know what my team would say, but ultimately I’m the one to make that decision,” Edgar stated.
The downside for Jon Jones is no matter how things are painted now, he’s coming away looking like the bad guy, the villain, the man that helped cancel one of the biggest shows of the year. It’s clearly not all on Jones’ shoulders why UFC 151 was cancelled, but in the court of public opinion, he’s already been tried and convicted.
“It’s a tough spot for him, too,” Edgar said about Jones. “I was looking forward to that fight, kind of sucked Dan (Henderson) got hurt.”
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more on the fallout from the UFC 151 cancellation.