Dana White made a decision he has never made before today. In a press conference on Thursday White announced that Dan Henderson had suffered a partial MCL tear and was out of the UFC 151 Main Event. Henderson was set to face UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones on September 1st in Las Vegas. White did have a back up plan when Henderson went down, Chael Sonnen was willing to step in to face Jones. Jones however refused to take on Sonnen with only 8 days notice. White had no choice but to cancel the show. He had no other fights at the ready or that were remaining on the card to justify a PPV event.
Jones will now defend his title on September 22nd at what was to be UFC 152 in Toronto. The Challenger will be former Champion Lyoto Machida. Jones and Machida have fought previously with Jones taking the victory in the second round with a guillotine choke. Machida was originally set to face the winner of the Henderson VS. Jones fight but now he gets his title fight right away.
While the UFC has canned a show that had a place and a date without fights scheduled, they have never cancelled a show that had a card set up already. With injuries and fighters pulling out of fights being the reality of today’s MMA this will continue. This is a horrible thing to happen right now for the UFC. They are already having issues with FOX over ratings and the fights they provide FOX. Their PPV numbers have also been trending downward over the last couple of years. The injury bug has become out of control in the last year and a half, by far one of the most annoying things a promotion has to deal with.
Something needs to be done and done quickly to stop these things from happening. The UFC must devise a training plan that all fighters must follow. The best way to do this would be limiting the days and hours the fighters are allowed to train before a fight. The business will not last at the level it has been at if this continues for even a couple of more years. If the sport won’t regulate training the UFC sure the hell should.