Jon Jones is the smartest champion in the UFC.
If anything can be taken away from the storm of confusion and panic on August 22nd 2012 it is that Jon "Bones" Jones makes smart decisions when it comes to his career in the UFC. Making the right choice is usually misunderstood by people who do not make informed decisions of their own. The heart of destruction of the event that was supposed to be UFC 151 is an injury to Jones' would be opponent Dan Henderson. A partially torn medial collateral ligament is the culprit to be specific. An injury that will likely push back any chance of Henderson fighting Jones in 2012. The injury and withdrawal forced a quick sequence of key events its hard for fans to follow exactly what happened. I will break down each event in detail.
August 22nd 2012 early AM
Henderson's replacement spot is offered to an unnamed shortlist of fighters, presumably to include Shogun, Teixeira, Gustafsson, MAchida, and for some bizarre reason Chael Sonnen. All fighters refuse except Sonnen. Greg Jackson advises Jones to reject the offer to fight Sonnen.
August 22nd 2012 late AM
Jones rejects fight with Sonnen, the entire UFC 151 card is canceled as a result. Lyoto Machida is quasi-officially penciled in to face Jones at UFC 151 in Canada on September 22nd 2012.
August 22nd 2012 early PM
Jones' refusal to fight Sonnen ignites a huge fan backlash. Fighters from the UFC 151 card chime in calling Jones selfish.
August 22nd 2012 late PM
Lyoto Machida decides 1 month is not enough time to prepare for Jones and turns down the fight. The fight is now offered to Vitor Belfort who has accepted and will fight Jones at UFC 152.
Sonnen holds 0 wins at 205 in the UFC and actually has only fought at the weight once where he lost to Renato "Babablu" Sobral via triangle choke. For many logical reasons Sonnen should have never been even presented to Jones but somehow Jones' refusal to fight him has been met with a huge fan backlash, little of which makes any logical sense. Sonnen did a good job of talking his way into a fight with Jones coincidentally a week before Henderson announced his injury. It is a reasonable assumption that Sonnen (A Team Quest teammate of Henderson) knew about the injury before it was announced and was fishing for conflict in an attempt to trick Jones into responding with his emotions instead of his intellect. The idea that Sonnen should rebound from a loss to Anderson Silva to a fight with Jon Jones is simply ludicrous. There are championship belts for a reason, ranking systems for a reason, and of course weight classes for a reason. Sonnen isn't ranked, has never held a belt and isn't a Light Heavy Weight. The UFC comes off as amateurish for even considering Sonnen for a replacement. It also devalues the accomplishments of other fighters at 205. Its analogous to Ryan Bader stepping in to fight Junior Dos Santos.
Jones made the best possible choice given the circumstances (none of which were hsi fault). If Jones would have accepted a fight against Sonnen and destroyed him, the fans would be crying that Sonnen wasn't a legitimate test. For the fighters who are sore about the whole fight being scrapped direct your anger towards Zuffa, not towards Jones. Belfort isn't an ideal opponent either but at least he has experience at 205 and has a better record and skill set to test Jones with.