The UFC’s Sept. 1 event has been canceled, according to UFC President Dana White, who announced Thursday morning that headliner Dan Henderson has suffered a partial tear of his MCL that will prevent him from competing at the event that was to be UFC 151.
White then revealed that Jon Jones was offered Chael Sonnen as a replacement opponent, but the light heavyweight champion turned the fight down.
“Dan Henderson has a partial tear in his MCL and couldn’t continue. He tried to train and continue to work out. He saw doctors, and there was nothing we could do to save the fight. For the first time in 11 years, we’re going to cancel an event,” said White. “Chael Sonnen accepted the fight and wanted the fight bad. As of [8 or 9 p.m.] last night, we had a fight. We started making commercials. The one thing I never thought would happen happened. Jon Jones said, ‘I’m not fighting Chael Sonnen on eight days’ notice.’”
Jones will now square off with Lyoto Machida on Sept. 22 at the event that was supposed to be UFC 152, which will henceforth be known as UFC 151. The remaining bouts on the Sept. 1 card will likely be shuffled to future bills, though White said he was unsure of all the details at this time.
The new UFC 151 takes place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and also features a flyweight title bout between Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. Additionally, the pay-per-view event will see Michael Bisping lock horns with Brian Stann in a pivotal middleweight confrontation.