UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will face off with Dan Henderson at UFC 151 on September 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Much of the recent talk about Jones, however, has focused on a prospective bout with Lyoto Machida and the trash talk of former middleweight contender Chael Sonnen. This talk is not lost on the young champion, who is trying to focus on dispatching one of all-time greats in Henderson. Jones spoke to ESPN recently about the chatter.
The light heavyweight champ told ESPN, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to be talking about fighting anybody but Dan Henderson,” said Jones, “I’m clearly focused on Dan Henderson. I’m not overlooking Dan.”
Jones was pressed on the issue of rematching Lyoto Machida and had some interesting words regarding the possible matchup. Machida earned the title shot after knocking out Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4, despite being 1-3 entering the Octagon that night. Said Jones:
“I don’t want to fight Lyoto Machida, He was my lowest pay-per-view draw of last year. No one wants to see me fight Lyoto Machida. I don’t want to fight Lyoto again. Lyoto is high risk and low reward.He’s a tough fighter, but no one wants to buy that fight. Between (Mauricio) Shogun (Rua), (Quinton) Rampage (Jackson) and Rashad (Evans), Lyoto was my lowest draw. Why would I want to fight someone where it’s a lose-lose situation? I won’t make money on it. And he’s a tricky fighter.”
With the UFC tying a lot of fighter pay into PPV for many prominent fighters, this seems to be a growing problem with PPV numbers being down for the second year in a row.
Jones will look to defend his title against Henderson on September 1. The card will be co-headlined by a rematch between Jay Hieron and Jake Ellenberger and will air live on PPV.