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Jon Jones Defends Reason For Declining Chael Sonnen Bout

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has no regrets about deciding to decline a short-notice bout with Chael Sonnen.

By doing so, the UFC was forced to cancel the entire UFC 151 card that was scheduled for last Saturday – the first time in 11 years the promotion has had to do such an act.

Jones, in an interview with the Associated Press, stated that he would make the same decision again if it was proposed to him.

I had to do what’s right for myself by turning down that fight, Dana (White) had to do what was right for himself by putting the blame on everyone else except for himself. The lesson to be learned is, at the end of the day, you have to protect yourself and your family.

Jones was scheduled to meet Dan Henderson, but a knee injury knocked Henderson out of the bout. Instead, the UFC proposed both several other challengers for Jones, but nobody accepted. Sonnen, however, agreed to take the fight despite it being just a week away.

Jones was greeted with intense backlash from White, fellow fighters and others involved in MMA.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of controversy. A lot of insults right now. People tell me, ‘You’re the champ, you’ve got to take the fight.’ Being the champ wasn’t given to me. I don’t owe anybody, anything.

Jones also said that he believes his relationship with White can be repaired, adding, “A lot of good can come out of it.”

Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMAFighting

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