Jon Jones remorseful for UFC 151

Two days removed from his decision that forced the cancellation of UFC 151, light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones expressed regret for refusing to fight former top middleweight contender Chael Sonnen with just eight days to prepare.

Sonnen accepted an offer from UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White on Wednesday to fight Jones when original challenger Dan Henderson withdrew because of a partially torn MCL.

But Jones and his handlers rejected Sonnen as a late replacement for Henderson, and Thursday afternoon White pulled the plug on the event which was scheduled for Sept. 1 in Las Vegas.

It marked the first time since Fertitta and White took control of the promotion -- 11 years ago -- that UFC cancelled an event.

"Carrying the cross for my company's decision," Jones tweeted. "If someone has to take the blame, I will accept full responsibility for the way UFC 151 was canceled. I want to sincerely apologize to all the other athletes (and) fans whose time and money was wasted.

"I feel terrible about the way that was handled."

The 25-year-old Jones, who is now scheduled to make the fourth defense of his 205-pound title Sept. 22 at UFC 152 in Toronto against Vitor Belfort, has a professional record of 16-1.

Belfort, who has competed at middleweight the past few years, is a former UFC light-heavyweight champion. He has a pro mark of 21-9.