Lead Jab – What Should Have Been Done With UFC 151

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Posted by Mika Frankl

By now we have all heard the news that UFC 151 has been canceled and by this point most of the match ups found homes on other cards. Dana White put the blame for the cancellation squarely on the shoulders of UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Jones himself has taken to twitter to apologize and accept the blame, but why should he?

I believe that it was Jon Jones’ decision to not have a Light Heavyweight title fight on short notice and therefore that is his fault. When UFC events are set up in the first place we all know that the card is subject to change. Taking away the title fight would have hurt and made the card not Pay Per View worthy, but the event could have been moved to Fuel TV and made UFC 151 a free show.

Chael Sonnen and Chris Weidman both offered to set up on short notice to replace the injured Henderson against Jones, but neither one of them to this point has even competed in the UFC Light Heavyweight division. It was a great gesture by both men. I know many people would have loved to have seen Sonnen vs. Jones but where is the respect for the title? Sonnen is coming off a loss. How can you really say that makes sense?

What would have made sense is for Sonnen with his name and drawing power on short notice to take on Chris Weidman who volunteered also to compete on short notice. The two men could have been billed as the event savers which would have drawn in a huge media buzz. It could have been a bout that boosted Weidman towards being a headliner, a title contender or could have put the swag right back in stride of Sonnen, but the UFC didn’t as they threw their young champion under the bus. All it would have taken is saying that Dan Henderson is injured and Lyoto Machida is not able to fight on short notice, so with the two top contenders unavailable we are moving in a different direction with two guys who offered to compete on short notice and let’s applaud them. Sounds like that would have been a smart move. This would have opened the door for Jones vs. Machida at UFC 153, like Machida wanted. We would have had the Champion vs. a viable number 1 contender.

Stepping out of my “could have been-would have been” and back to reality, at UFC 152 Jon “Bones” Jones defends his UFC Light Heavyweight Title against Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. Belfort is on a 2 fight winning streak, but has not beaten a fighter in the top ten at Middleweight or Light Heavyweight. After the match up was announced betting lines came out showing Jones as a 13-1 favorite.

With the UFC sticking a Middleweight in the Light Heavyweight Title match while Light Heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson and his 5 fight win streak waits to face a “Shogun” Rua who is 3-3 in his last 6. Just tell me again how Belfort earned the title shot and Gustasson hasn’t?

What happened to earning a title shot? How did that go out the window so quick? What’s more important, one event or the structure of how number 1 contenders are decided?

In my plan we would still have an event on September 1, 2012.

I feel the UFC dropped the ball in a huge way. What do you think? Leave a comment below…

Follow Mika Frankl on Twitter @cagedmindsmma