UFC 151 Cancelled: Lyoto Machida Cites Lack of Prep Time for Declining UFC 152 Jon Jones Fight

August 24, 2012
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To say that the last couple of days in the world of mixed martial arts have been confounding would be an understatement.

Following and injury to Dan Henderson and failed attempts to put UFC light heavyweight champion in the Octagon with a different opponent next week in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White on Thursday cancelled UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson. It marked the first time in the promotion’s history that White had to cancel an event just eight days out.

At the time of the UFC 151 cancellation announcement, White noted that Jones would be moved to the UFC 152 fight card slated for Sept. 22 to face Lyoto Machida, the man promised the shot at the winner of Jones vs. Henderson.

Twelve hours later and the scene changed again.

UFC officials late Thursday evening revealed that Machida declined to face Jones at UFC 152. White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta then put out the call to Vitor Belfort, who had been fighting at middleweight, and the former UFC light heavyweight champion immediately accepted the challenge, putting Jones vs. Belfort in as the UFC 152 headliner.

Machida’s decision to decline the fight was perplexing to most, but the former champion and his camp promised to explain his reasoning…. and they did.

Machida and his camp on Friday released the following statement to MMAWeekly.com:

Lyoto Machida is eager to get back to training, and have another shot at the UFC light heavyweight belt. However, with the proposed fight against Champion Jon Jones only 4 weeks away, Lyoto manifests that the deadline is unfeasible in order to have a training camp that is complete and worthy of his work.

Lyoto believes the bout could take place in Brasil at UFC 153, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro on October 13th, allowing him 6 weeks to prepare.

“I want to serve the UFC and recapture the belt. I always respect my opponent. For those reasons, I must prepare myself in the manner I believe in.”

Despite offering up the UFC 153 date as a viable option, Machida is unlikely to be granted that request, as UFC officials have already made it official that Jones vs. Belfort will top the bill in Toronto.

  • So Jones declined the fight with Sonnen for the same reason…so is everyone going to start hating on Michida now?

    • jonnypatrick

      That is correct… they are both pu$$ies in my book. I wish Dana could strip Jones of his belt to prove a point to all these chumps.

  • Ememay

    The difference is Jones is already training and in shape for a fight. Machida was not. Machida should get some criticism, too, but Bones has been the bigger diva.

  • Yeah but Michida has 3 weeks to prepare for an opponent he’s already fought, Jones had 8 days to train for someone he has never fought.

    Also Michida’s last fight was less than one round, and was only a couple weeks ago. He shouldn’t be that far out of shape.

    • youdosuck

      Jones had been training to fight a right handed fighter. Chael is a southpaw. It makes a difference. Its really only a 3-5 days really to train. I don’t blame Jones. I blame Dana for crappy card.

      • bajafox

        Blame Dana all you want, hindsight is 20/20 but the fact still remains that both Chael and Jones had to fight on the same notice, the only difference is one of them already had a full camp to begin with.

        • BajaFox you can’t argue with the fact that the sole reason this card would sell is because of the main event. And if you read alot of the media stuff going around about this event, this is a common theme that the UFC is putting together alot of 1 fight cards. Im sure if they went ahead with this card then I would say they would be lucky to get 10% of the PPV buys they would have gotten if the main event was still there.

          • onehitwonder

            man,i wish i had some Beaver right now.

  • jgregg

    @youdosuck I’m with you! Dana putting together to many cards. How can a PPV be put all on 1 man? Did you see the PPV for 152, before Jones was added? Really Dana??? $70 for the mess you are putting out? To many cards… UFC is on FX, FOX and a PPV almost twice a month. Put together some good cards..PLEASE!!!!

  • mmafan59

    This is definitely Joe Silva’s fault. The undercards are so weak and there’s no co-main event. If Dana “Jerk-off” White wants to blame someone, he should blame Joe for putting together a crappy card. Since Anderson and Vitor are both ready to go, then how’s about Anderson vs Vitor II?

  • 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.

    • Im willing to bet that the person who started this is a butt hurt idiot who bought a non refundable plane ticket to Vegas for next weekend. Even if there is no fight going on…ITS VEGAS…there’s tons of fun junk to do!! Its not like you can’t go just because the fight is cancelled.

  • I swear, people just swing from Jones’ short-n-curlys. Jones was already prepped to fight an extremely similar fighter to Dan Henderson. Similar with one huge difference: no H-bomb. He turned down the fight and disappointed myself and hoardes of others simply because he could. While it is disappointing that Machida turned down the fight in a month, it doesn’t cost the promotion an entire event. Jones cares about nobody but himself, and yet he still has you naive people to call his fans. Crazy

    • shakejunt

      dan might have trained with chael, but really… where are the similarities in their fighting styles?

      • And to go along with that…Machida turned down the fight and he’s already fought Jon Jones…

      • How do they fight similar? They’re both outstanding wrestlers. Chael uses his wrestling differently than Hendo, but they still both use their wrestling to dictate the fight. The biggest difference is Hendo is a threat standing. With Chael he wouldn’t have to worry about that nearly as much

  • grisscoat

    A few things we’ve learned so far…

    Greg Jackson is smarter than Dana White, and by quite a bit it turns out. White’s inability to make sense of Jackson’s rational refusal to take a fight on three days notice exposes White as the hothead/fratboy that he is. Future UFC superstars should take note here because it’s strikingly obvious now that White is willing to play fast and loose with the career arcs of his superstar athletes. Clearly, Jackson and his cooler head prevailed.

    White’s attempt to hang the lost fighter purses on Jones is borderline pathetic. White has a billion dollar company pushing at his back, Jones doesn’t. The UFC should(and will inevitably) pay these fighters in full. It’s the UFC’s fault that this event did not come off, not Jones or Henderson. That’s right Dana, when you own a company you’re responsible for taking care of the help.

    • mmabarbie007

      well said. i’m posting your comment on my fbook. perfect response, i couldn’t have said it better.

    • stevemcz11

      I agree. DW should not play fast and loose with with his superstars. So then Jones would have got his title shot and this would never have happened.

  • pooby

    Why are all these articles titled : UFC 151 Cancelled:…”? We all know this by now, it doesn’t need to be added to every title.

  • somecokehead

    People who are saying Lyoto shouldn’t need a full training camp to fight someone for the second time must forget how Jones choked him out and dropped him like a sack of sh1t. The fact that Lyoto wants to fully prepare for the second fight is understandable. Even when you get paid to fight, getting choked unconscious and tossed to the ground sucks. IMO

    • dgs

      “People who are saying Lyoto shouldn’t need a full training camp to fight someone for the second time must forget how Jones choked him out and dropped him like a sack of sh1t. The fact that Lyoto wants to fully prepare for the second fight is understandable. Even when you get paid to fight, getting choked unconscious and tossed to the ground sucks. IMO”

      I agree with this post 100%, nothing more to add to it.

  • poster

    I respect Lyoto’s decision. He made mistakes in their first fight and, worst case scenario, if he loses twice he wants to know that he at least has no excuses to why he lost. If he fought Jones on short notice and lost again his chances of a third fight are very slim and he’d always wonder how he would do at 100%.

  • fightfankevin

    A guy can only drink so much pee in 4 weeks. Just not enough time for lyoto.

  • stevemcz11

    Jones said he didnt want to fight Lyoto. Then he didnt want to fight Chael. I would rather have seen Jones pulled from the card and lose his payday and have to wait for hendo just to teach him a lesson. When he asks DW why hes not getting any fights he can just say nobody is accepting a fight with you. Then hold the rest of the cards without him until hes either willing to fight Chael or until Hendo is back. I also hope when Jones eventually loses that he doesnt get another shot at a title! Another thing is now it doesnt matter how often he defends that title because he will still be the only LHW champ in history that did it while turning down fights.

  • mikemma123

    Everybody think Sonnen is just a stepping stone for jones. The guy is rank number 2 in middle weight, competed in the olympic and has over 35 professional fights. Theirs a reason why jones back down. Sonnen is no push over.

  • diazfan209

    For a challenger, yes, they should have full preparation because they may not ever get another shot.

    For a champion, they should be willing to fight ANY challenger because being champion means that you are the best, plain and simple.

    I’m sure Jones would have turned down the fight with Vitor claiming that Vitor doesn’t deserve a shot, but Dana White would release him if he turned down yet another opponent.

    Vitor may be the next best challenge because of his heavy hands and his ability to leg kick effectively. Lets just hope he stays healthy……..

  • mike

    I fell sorry for YOU JONE BONE hater .YOU people are all loser….GO THE GREAT CHAMP