Dear Dana White,
I hung up my Tap Out t-shirt. I cancelled my Pay-Per-View buy. I told my boys to stay home. But I still don’t believe this public charade that you’re putting forward.
Sure I believe that Dan Henderson, the guy that was scheduled to challenge the light heavyweight champion of the world Jon “Bones” Jones, tore his ACL and had to pull out of the event. It happens all the time! Guys train too hard and get hurt. Maybe he was too old to compete in the first place, but so be it.
I even believe that you offered Henderson’s spot to Chael Sonnen. He would have had to move up a weight class, but he’s always looking for a fight. Since then he has run his mouth and called out Jon Jones on multiple occasions, but what else are we to expect of Chael Sonnen.
Apparently you even offered up the spot to Anderson Silva. Of course he wouldn’t fight Jon Jones because then we would have had a blockbuster fight that many of us couldn’t even dream of. Either way, he accepted to become the new main event, even fighting up a weight class. But you said no…
Now my weekend was ruined. There was no UFC 151. Not only was there no Jon Jones, no Chael Sonnen, no Anderson Silva, there was no nothing at all! How could you ever do that?
I’m beginning to wonder whether you really are the guy to lead the UFC into the future. Sure you were great when the UFC was trending upwards, but now the UFC seems to have plateaued a bit. You have brought the UFC to multiple continents with unparalleled success. You worked toward bringing UFC to the mainstream. There is the TV contract with Fox, but has it even been that successful? The ratings have been going down the past few fights and now you have to offer one of your biggest fights of the year just to boost them back up (Benson Henderson title defense versus Nate Diaz).
Now you have not only ruined the plans for my past Saturday night, you seem to have the UFC trended downwards. You rescheduled Jon Jones to fight at UFC 152 to fight Vitor Belfort even though you tried to get a huge fight with Lyoto Machida, but he wisely declined on short notice.
In a sport that timing and opportunities matter the most, you seem to have ignored that these things make a huge difference. Guys are considered the greatest or wither away in the shadow of another guy all depending on timing. It’s about matchups. You can’t just pretend like these things don’t matter.
Not only did you ignore these things, you launched a whole "UFC versus Jon Jones" public relations assault. You asked Chael Sonnen to fight him. Jon Jones declined (making the right decision, IMO). You knew that Sonnen would run his mouth; call out Jones in every way possible. You wanted Jon Jones to take the blame for the cancelled UFC 151 before you had to take it. Now you got what you wanted. Let’s own up to the mistakes. This mistake could be one that alienates parts of the fan base. That is why I wonder if you, Mr. White, are the guy to lead UFC further.
Alienating fans is a poor business strategy in any sport. Any businessman knows that and I thought you did. But I was wrong. You clearly had it wrong. Now you have some fixing to do and I mean more than just giving me Jon Jones versus Vitor Belfort. I mean publically admitting your wrongdoing and I mean giving the people another fight for free.
Although the cancelled UFC 151 makes no sense and is a stupid move on your part, that isn’t what I’m mad about. I’m mad that you would turn against one of your own champions, your own fighters, and your own guys so easily, so mercilessly.
I’m disappointed in you Mr. White, and I hope you will make it up to not just me, but all UFC fans. There surely are a lot of us. And you definitely disappointed every single one of us this past weekend.