On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Rob Maysey of the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association
Many people in and around the mixed martial arts world are blaming the cancellation of UFC 151, originally scheduled for September 1, on UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Jones was slated to face Dan Henderson, but Henderson had to withdraw from that fight this week with an injury. Rather than take a new opponent on eight days' notice, which would have given Jones only three days actually to prepare for this fight, he declined. Instead, Jones will face Vitor Belfort on September 22. The postponement of Jones's appearance then led Zuffa, the parent company of UFC, to cancel the entire September 1 card and pay-per-view, and then blame the cancellation on Jones.
Not everyone, however, takes this view.
"I think Jon Jones made a very wise and professional decision. He followed the advice of his trainer," said Rob Maysey in this interview, which was recorded by phone Friday night. Noting that Jones was trying to protect both his title and earning capacity, he agreed that taking a new opponent on such short notice was not worth the risk. "He should be applauded for doing that," continued Rob Maysey. "He's the first fighter that I'm aware of that has had kind of the clout and the will to say 'no.'"
We thus discussed the real circumstances behind the cancellation of UFC 151, the attack on Jones in a press release issued by his promoters, the reaction to all of this by the MMA media, why fighter rights in MMA must be greatly expanded, what fighters and their supporters can do, and much more.
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Thanks, Eddie Goldman