If UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones is looking for fight for money, he may have gotten a better pay day.
With cancellation of UFC 151 due to the injury of Dan Henderson and Jones refusing to defend his title against Chael Sonnen, the UFC has decided to move Jones to UFC 152 where he will once again face former champion Lyoto Machida on Sept. 22.
With the addition of Jones vs. Machida II, UFC 152 now has two title matches, the second being Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson for the inaugural UFC Flyweight championship. The card also features the anticipated match between Michael Bisping and Brian Stann as well as the return of Matt Hamill.
Machida earned the rematch with Jones after knocking out Ryan Bader in the first round at UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera.
In an interview with ESPN.com, Jones said he did not want to fight Machida because he claimed their fight at UFC 140 was his lowest pay per view draw of 2011.
“No one wants to see me fight don’t want to fight Lyoto again. Lyoto is high risk and low reward.”
Although Jones vs. Machida had a buy rate of 400,000, Machida has headlined three other cards that have also had high numbers. His fight with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 104 had a buy rate of 500,000, which is 10,000 more than Jones had in his fight with Rua at UFC 128.
Two championship fights and matches featuring well known fighters like Hamill and Stann can help increase pay per view buys.
I disagree with Jones when he says that people won’t want to see him fight Machida.
On the contrary, I think fans who have grown tired of Jones antics will be tuning in, with hopes that the Dragon will beat Jones and take the title away from him.
For a champion who fights for riches, he should be happy if the fight brings in the money.
What do you think of Jones’ recent actions? Would you turn into watch Machida take on Jones in a rematch? Comment below or tweet me your answer @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA
*updated August 24, 2012 at 11:03 a.m. Pacific Time
Machida has turned down the title at UFC 152. It will now be Jones defending against former light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort.