Jon Jones remorseful for UFC 151
Two days removed from his decision that forced the cancellation of UFC 151, light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones expressed regret for refusing to fight former top middleweight contender Chael Sonnen with just eight days to prepare.
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Sonnen accepted an offer from UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White on Wednesday to fight Jones when original challenger Dan Henderson withdrew because of a partially torn MCL.
But Jones and his handlers rejected Sonnen as a late replacement for Henderson, and Thursday afternoon White pulled the plug on the event which was scheduled for Sept. 1 in Las Vegas.
It marked the first time since Fertitta and White took control of the promotion -- 11 years ago -- that UFC cancelled an event.
"Carrying the cross for my company's decision," Jones tweeted. "If someone has to take the blame, I will accept full responsibility for the way UFC 151 was canceled. I want to sincerely apologize to all the other athletes (and) fans whose time and money was wasted.
"I feel terrible about the way that was handled."
The 25-year-old Jones, who is now scheduled to make the fourth defense of his 205-pound title Sept. 22 at UFC 152 in Toronto against Vitor Belfort, has a professional record of 16-1.
Belfort, who has competed at middleweight the past few years, is a former UFC light-heavyweight champion. He has a pro mark of 21-9.