A knee injury to Dan Henderson has forced the cancellation of UFC 151 scheduled for Las Vegas next Saturday, UFC president Dana White announced Thursday.
"This is one of my all-time lows as president,” White said. “For the first time in 11 years we’re going to cancel an event."
Henderson sustained a partially torn MCL in training, forcing him to pull out of the light-heavyweight title fight against champ Jon Jones at Mandalay Bay. Middleweight Chael Sonnen volunteered to step in for Henderson, a prospect that Jones’ camp wasn’t thrilled about.
White said that Jones told him he was “not fighting Chael Sonnen on eight days’ notice.” The decision came on the advice of Jones’ trainer, Greg Jackson.
"(Jackson) is an (expletive) sport-killer," White said.
White said those holding tickets for UFC 151 will get their money refunded.
Jones will now headline UFC 152 on Sept. 22 in Toronto in a bout against Vitor Belfort. Lyoto Machida, who earned the top contender status with a victory over Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4 on Aug. 4, originally was tapped to be Jones’ challenger, but declined the fight.
White said cancelling next weekend’s event has far-reaching implications, including the fact it will cost UFC in pay-per view buys.
“This is one of those selfish, disgusting decisions that will not just affect you,” White said. “You just affected other peoples’ lives. I don’t think this is a decision that is going to make Jon Jones popular with the fans, sponsors, cable distributors, network executives or other fighters.”