Jon Jones further clarified his thoughts to The Associated Press yesterday, a day after both he and UFC president Dana White spoke out in separate interviews regarding the cancellation of UFC 151.
Carefully put and with polish this year's electoral candidates can only hope to aspire to, Jones appeared to state, essentially, that White has blamed everyone else for the events' cancellation when the blame lies squarely at the feet of the promotion for not putting together a card full enough to withstand the loss of its headliner.
And what he's saying certainly has merit.
Take a look at the rest of the main event card:
Jones is understandably upset that the UFC is placing most of the blame for the events' cancellation on him when there was no true co-main event scheduled, and the remaining fight card amounted to a weak "Fight Night" event.
There was no shot of it ever carrying a Pay-Per-View. The Vegas-based promotion took a gamble and lost.
An organization that prides itself on being the anti-boxing establishment, implemented the boxing card 101 master plan, expecting fans to fork over $50 on a collection of borderline mid to low level fight match ups most of them could care less about.
Of course, the pay off is that at the end you get to watch one of the most anticipated fights of the year. Right?
It appears as though the UFC is viewing this type of fight card as a trade off for its success. Fans of the sport would gladly watch an event every weekend, but with two month fight camps, injuries, and other commitments, such as coaching TUF shows, there are only so many event headliners to go around.
Consider that in 2008 and 2009 the UFC promoted 20 total events each year, with most boasting well stocked, high quality fights. That number jumped 33% this year with the organization planning a total of 31 events, only 30 of which will likely occur now of course due to the cancellation of UFC 151. The demand for events, due to the sports' ever growing world wide popularity, and the new network TV deal with FOX, has never been higher, but there are a limited number of quality stars and match ups which essentially ends up watering down individual events.
Financially, the UFC is walking quite the tightrope with its commitments to air live events on FOX and its subsidiaries FX and Fuel TV, and its need for big time match ups to push PPV sales. The FOX events demand quality fights and headliners, not only to appease FOX officials and their ratings, but also to build the UFC's reach into the mainstream and overall brand. These events don't, however, pay the bills.
For that, the UFC depends, to a large extent, on Pay-Per-View's, which brings us back to UFC 151.
Stretched thin with injuries to multiple big name fighters including original co-main event participant Josh Koscheck, and with commitments to other cards still left to fill, the UFC had no choice but to take a chance at UFC 151 and rely one their biggest gun to pull them through. The fact that they put so many eggs in Jones' proverbial basket, by putting on so many events this year is certainly a point of contention, but it is...