Chael Sonnen Talked His Way Into Title Fight with One Word – “Yes”

October 31, 2012
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Chael Sonnen at the UFC 148 press conferenceChael Sonnen received more than his fair share of criticism after he was placed in the next UFC light heavyweight title fight despite not competing in the weight class in more than seven years.

Sonnen is currently filming the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite UFC champion Jon Jones, and once the show is completed he will face him in the Octagon with the 205-pound title on the line.

One person that Sonnen probably didn’t expect to criticize him for receiving the shot at the belt was longtime friend and training partner Dan Henderson.

Henderson was originally slated to face Jones at UFC 151 in September before suffering a knee injury that forced him out of the bout. When the news about Jones vs. Sonnen was first announced, Henderson sounded none too pleased and voiced his opinion on Twitter saying, “I guess I should just quit training to win fights and to be exciting for the fans and just go to (expletive) talking school.”

He later stated that he had nothing against Sonnen, but that him receiving the title shot “degrades the sport of MMA.”

Sonnen apparently hasn’t had a chance to catch up with Henderson since the comments were made, and didn’t have a lot to say about his old teammate when the subject came up on Tuesday.

“I haven’t spoke to him. I haven’t spoke to Dan. I’ll leave it at that,” Sonnen stated.

The question about Sonnen “talking his way” into a title shot has become the standard for criticism about the former middleweight title contender getting a crack at Jones without a single fight since losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 148.

Sonnen has no problem with anyone who says he talked his way into the fight, because it’s absolutely true, but it only took one word for him to get the shot.

“I keep hearing that I talked my way into the fight, and guys, it’s true; but the word that I used was ‘yes.’ When the chance came and they said do you want to fight? I said yes,” Sonnen stated.

“Contrary to what it may look like on TV, this guy’s pretty darn good, and there’s not a lot of guys that want to fight him. Contrary to what the oddsmakers may say, (I’m) pretty good too and there’s not a lot of guys that want to fight me. A lot of guys complaining about me getting the fight with Jon, but not one of those guys said, ‘I want to fight Jon,’ not one of them.”

No matter what is said now, Sonnen did get the fight and the chance to coach on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Jones. The end result is expected to be higher ratings for the reality show and probably one of the biggest pay-per-view draws for all of 2013.

Stay tuned to for all your TUF 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen coverage.

  • julian moran

    When the short notice fight was offered to Sonnen, Jon Jones answered the word “NO”.
    For the current scheduled fight against Jon Jones, plenty of other more deserving fighters also said the word “YES”, but where are they?

    At the end of the day, Sonnen got to cut line, because the UFC feels he will get more attention (money) to the TUF series. Dana White was willing to degrade the sport of mma for extra cash in his pocket.

  • Triggerman99

    Hey did you guys hear about this? Dana gave Sonnen the shot because a bunch of other fighters turned it down when it was previously offered. I just wanted to clear that up, just in case the 47 other articles on here that said the exact same f%#king thing weren’t clear enough.

    • BombsAway

      The only reason Lyoto Machida turned the fight down at 151 was because he didn’t have enough time to train. Lyoto didn’t want it at 151, sure, go ahead give it to Chael. 151 is gone now and history! Now, Lyoto has time to train. Now, Lyoto even has time to be one of the TUF coaches. So now that Lyoto has all this time, why is he not apart of it? Oh, I know why, because this piece of **** won’t shut the **** up! Anderson Silva, who is THE best striker in the UFC and dominates the middleweight division, beat the **** of him. What makes you think he stands a chance against Jones, who is dominating the LHW division? Keep in mind that Lyoto also FAUGHT and beat Rayn Bader to be Chael is now!

      • p3ezy

        sorry hate being a grammar nazi but it was because you put it in capitals… FOUGHT*

        • BombsAway

          F’ing autocorrect works magic when it wants to. Lol

    • Dtrain

      That was prior to the Belfort fight, plenty of guys will fight Jones now with time to train. Sonnen was already scheduled to fight Forrest, but was pulled for ratings, he didn’t earn the title shot by any means

  • gnodeb

    What about Diego Sanchez? He should get three title shots in a row! YES, YES, YES!

  • UFCfightblogger

    Dan Henderson shouldn’t be bitter about not getting the TUF coaching spot against Jones. It was not personal. TUF needed saving and Sonnen was the right man for the job. Henderson should get his shot back if he gets past Lyoto Machida next year which isn’t easy by any means.

    • BombsAway

      “TUF needed saving” WTF? Since when did the UFC become rating whores? **** the ratings! This is degrading the sport. I’m sure Hendo is more mad about the fact that a clown replaced him instead of a real deserving fighter. Carwin, Davis, Rampage and I’m sure plenty of other fighters feel the same way.

  • fddjw

    I see the issue when it comes to the fighters. But to fans, im sure more people wanna see jon jones vs. Chael then jj vs. Daniel cormier. Hendo is great, but that fight against shogun didn’t give me enough to believe that dan could beat jj. Esp. Since he was already tired by the 3rd round.

  • Hitman

    “more fans would like to see JJ vs Sonnen than Cormier”
    Please shut the hell up! If that was the case, there wouldn’t be so many complaints!

  • NaDillon

    Reality is that Dana White has always sided with the fighter that says “yes” over the fighter that says “later..maybe”. This has been the case with Dana on every season of TUF. Lyoto dodged Jones and Sonnen said he would take it. Then when JJ dodged Sonnen he lost a lot of respect from the fans, resulting in the only cancelled UFC event ever. This match is a win-win for everyone. UFC has an event where the fans want to see the fight (you guys have to admit that regardless of rather Sonnen “deserves” the fight, you still want to see it), JJ has a chance to save face and show he wasnt avoiding Sonnen, and Sonnen gets a title shot. Everyone wins.