Report: Dan Henderson Stands By Criticism of Chael Sonnen Receiving Title Fight
Light-Heavyweight Believes Bout With Lyoto Machida Next
By FCF Staff
After news surfaced that Chael Sonnen would coach opposite Jon Jones on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and would fight the light-heavyweight champ next, contender Dan Henderson was quick to voice his disapproval. Now, several more days removed from the dramatic announcement, the former Strikeforce champion is standing by his initial reaction.
While appearing on the latest edition of The MMA Hour program Wednesday, Henderson repeated his contention that the Sonnen-Jones fight shouldn’t be happening. Previously, Henderson tweeted that the fight “degrades the sport”, and today the 42 year-old-fighter relayed that the upcoming bout “makes the sport lose a little bit of integrity.”
Of course, Henderson was forced to withdraw from a scheduled fight with Jon Jones in September due to a knee injury. After Sonnen offered to step in to save the doomed UFC 151 card, and Jones went on to submit Vitor Belfort later that month, the UFC announced Sonnen would challenge Jones in April.
Sonnen hasn’t competed at light-heavyweight in several years, and while Henderson relayed that he understood the outspoken fighter’s decision to take the fight, he doesn’t believe Sonnen has earned a title shot.
The former PRIDE champion also reportedly said that Dana White’s decision was likely done to boost the TUF ratings, and that he understands that the UFC President is looking out for the promotion first.
Henderson also relayed today that he believes a bout with former champion Lyoto Machida is in the works for Super Bowl Weekend, February 2nd at UFC 156.
Henderson (29-8), who has won four straight, hasn’t competed since December when he scored a unanimous decision win over “Shogun” Rua.