Dan Henderson Fires Back at Jones-Sonnen Pairing for TUF 17 and Title Fight

October 17, 2012
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Dan Henderson victorious at StrikeforceIt’s safe to say former Strikeforce and Pride champion Dan Henderson isn’t a happy man today after learning that his old friend Chael Sonnen would be getting the next shot at Jon Jones and the UFC light heavyweight title instead of him.

Henderson was in place to face Jones at UFC 151 in early September, but a late injury to his knee prevented the fight from happening.

Since that time, Henderson was shifted to a de facto No. 1 contenders fight against former champion Lyoto Machida, while Jones recovers from an arm injury that occurred in his last fight against Vitor Belfort at UFC 152.

The UFC on Tuesday announced that Jones would not be fighting any time soon and would instead coach on the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Chael Sonnen.

Sonnen is moving back to the light heavyweight division in the UFC for the first time since 2005, and has not won a fight since losing to Anderson Silva in a middleweight title fight earlier this year.

But a very public Twitter war and plenty of talk from Sonnen aimed directly at Jones made this fight very appealing to the fan base, and the UFC is taking the shot at putting the two together as Ultimate Fighter coaches and then opponents in April 2013.

The formula now seems pretty clear to Dan Henderson, who vented his frustrations directly at UFC president Dana White when talking on Twitter late Tuesday evening.

“I guess I should just quit training to win fights and to be exciting for the fans and just go to (expletive) talking school,” said Henderson with the message aimed at Dana White’s Twitter handle.

Henderson and Sonnen are longtime friends, but it obviously doesn’t cushion the blow that Sonnen will be getting the next crack at the UFC light heavyweight title without a single win in the division, while Henderson has to now face Lyoto Machida with no guarantee he’ll get the next crack at the belt even with a win.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all of your UFC news and updates.

  • Yeah but thats also cuz Dan fucked the card by keeping his injury on the low. Now karma (lorenzo) fucks him back. Nothin else to say. Wrong time to get injured, and Dans age isnt making things easier for him neither.
    Comin from strikeforce is like a curse when it comes to title fights. Still surprised Shield got one, first and last time that happens

  • Daniel Winge Stride

    dan should H-bomb sonnen in the gym;) maby sonnen will think over this twice after that;) ufc is a joke right now

  • bajafox

    The lesson here is, don’t get hurt during training. Just ask Rashad and Hendo what that’s like.

    • Spartacus

      This is horseshit!!! Make Chael fight Hendo or the Dragon then let the winner coach opposite of the phony JBJ. Smells like boxing…..Just a rating/money grab for TUF. Don’t get me wrong it will be engaging TV but make him earn it….he’s pretty boring to watch fight. He is constantly smothering with wresting and weak G&P

  • I love Dan Henderson and I won’t ever go against Dana but this just shows that when your gone life goes on for everyone else. It’s just a part of life.I know it does suck but this is just the reality of business as well. UFC needs to promote fights and make money so while Dan is rehabbing and getting back into camp for Machida the division will continue it’s course. It’s nobodys fault, it’s not that UFC is a joke and only hypes trash talkers, it’s a business that needs to continue to promote big fights and put on hyped up fights to make money. That’s just a FACT, plain and simple.

    • Anthony Lopez

      You have NO idea what you’re taking about

      • Intelligent comeback; an opinion with no further explanation. Hendo got hurt; Chael hyped a fight with Jones, Hendo has to fight Machida and Chael/Jones is more than likely to get high ratings due to Chaels trash talk. UFC is moving on to promote this fight b/c that’s what they do. All facts. You understand now?

  • Daniel Dieringer

    Chael Sonnen has not even had one fight in the light heavyweight division and gets a title shot wow! cmon ufc really?

    • Kris-tyahn

      You mean the way BJ Penn was guaranteed a WW title shot after not fighting in the WW division for years (3 to be exact)?!? BJ’s WW record is avg at best, but below avg for a fighter with his talent. If people were okay with Blow Job Penn getting an instant title fight at WW, eventhough his last 2 fights @ WW were losses, then why is it not okay for Sonnen to get the same “treatment”?!? If anything Sonnen will do much better vs. Jones, than BJ did vs. GSP. Though, that’s not saying much, but Sonnen will give Jones a decent test, a much diff test at that.

      People need to stop crying, b/c this is NOT the 1st time a fighter moved up in weight & got a guaranteed title fight, and it won’t be the last. At least Sonnen won 2 of his last 3 fights & his last 2 losses were to Silva, so whats the problem here?!? Oh I get it …. you guys like BJ, so it was okay for him, a LW fighter to get a title fight vs. GSP while the WW’s who have been fighting for years at WW get skipped over, but if it happens to a fighter you do not like, then its time to bring out the kleenex. Waaa Waaa Waaa, get over it losers, it’s called a business. Don’t like it, don’t watch it. Noone’s forcing you to buy the PPV or even watch TUF, but I bet you all will.

      • dathump

        the difference is BJ was the champ at LW and has moved up and down weight classes, most fighters who have a got a title fight at different weight classes were dominant in their division or former champs. Sonnen longest win streak is 3 in the ufc, not really dominant, However i do understand why they put it together and it will be entertaining, but as for sonnen being a test for Jones, I dont really see it.

        • Anthony Lopez

          Exactly. Penn had earned his fight by being a current champ. If Chael had beaten Anderson I would have been all for it, but this is ridiculous.

          • laleggenda27

            Not to mention the fact that BJ was also a former welterweight champ. If Chael was a former LHW champ and current MW champ, then the comparison would make sense. But he isn’t and it doesn’t.

          • sallydatgirl

            Sonnen is a former MW champ (from WEC) he was even given the belt by Paulo Filho (Paulo came in overweight thus making the fight a non-title affair, but
            Sonnen beat him & should have been champ, so there.

      • Clizzark

        At least Penn was a former WW champ, LW champ at the time, on a winning streak and had a rather close fight with GSP the first time they fought. Sonnen can’t say any of those things. Besides, you shouldn’t base things on 3 years ago. The sport should be progressing instead of regressing by handing out completely undeserved title shots to people like Sonnen just because they’re good at running their mouths.

  • Raul Salcedo

    True words Mr.combat…its a business that has taken a few blows recently with fallouts and low tuf ratings….Dana’s a genius by putting this one together….in that case Jon Fitch would be challenging for the title every two bouts if u went by the book all the time. …none of us could do a better job than Dana and zuffa…and if u can u should start ur own fighting promotion..

    • Anthony Lopez

      Amazing ball cupping. That is truly an art

  • dathump

    I am still wondering what happens if Sonnen gets submitted by Forest again? Or did Sonnen back out of that fight knowing it is a real possability.

    • The Griffin/Sonnen fight is now off the table. Not gonna happen. At least not until after Jones vs. Sonnen next April.

  • Gigi

    Dan wud fuk both sonnen n jones up,dana white gives fights to fighters that sell more ppv,not ones who rly deserve it,its been like this for ages,nothing new here bitches

  • diazfan209

    Dan should get the title shot

  • SSS

    The bottom line is Sonnen can sell fights, he has broken the highest attendance for Q&A, Weigh In’s and a top PPV draw. Highest paid non title holder which was owned by Randy. This guy can market. Listen, if the company makes money so does the fighter…

    • Al T

      Exactly right. Not to mention Sonnen manages to cause even the most humble fighters(Silva) to talk smack. In Danas mind, what better way to get paid than have someone like Sonnen run his mouth to cause hype. Well played Dana, you found Sonnen a role in the UFC

    • Lesnar still has the top grossing PPV of all time.

  • Tim Edwards

    did anyone listen to the the call today about the tuf 17? as dana white said when 151 got taken out evenone backdown to fight jones so they lost their spot and thats that so get the hell over it be fucking happy its a fight

  • king

    Frankie Edgar lost twice consecutively. He will still fight Jose Aldo. Why no one complains?

  • Fuzzmaster

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but Dan Henderson knew he was injured well before he told Uncle Dana. I thought that was a major contributing factor to the 151 card cancellation. Perhaps this is Dana’s way of telling Hendo to f*** himself for screwing the 151 card. Could work the opposite way for Chael, too. Maybe this is his thank-you for trying to save the card.

  • Mark McDowall

    Sonnen is 7-4 in his last 11 fights…not a terrible record IMO…but if you break it down it really isn’t worthy of 1 title shot, let alone now going in to a 3rd. He has 1 finish is those 7 victories…and his 4 losses, 3 were by submission. If Jones was smart he would go in, let Sonnen take him down and then submit him.

    Take that out of it…Sonnen talked his way in to a title fight plain and simple. But I don’t think that it will be as big of a seller as the UFC is hoping. I don’t think Sonnen can hold a candle to Jones. I don’t think this fight will be very exciting at all…I have a feeling this may be another 151…and be the only decent fight on the card. I think UFC will try and rely on the selling power of this one fight to sell an entire PPV. If thats the case I probably wont order it, and I have a feeling alot of people wont either.

  • BigRalph

    Dan got robbed. I feel for him.

  • Mario

    I feel for Dan. It’s not fair.

    He should be fighting for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. Not loud mouth Sonnen.

    Chael should have his lips surgically removed and toss them in the octagon when it’s fight time. His mouth really does all the work. He can’t fight.

    Once Jones humiliates him, I don’t ever want to hear of this man again. Enough already. How many times does he want to get embarrassed?

    He’s no Muhammad Ali.

  • Ed

    When he turned down the fight with Sonnen everyone complained. now he’s gonna fight him and everone is doing what? someone needs to pass out midol!

  • RoyTanjay

    How about Nelson vs Batista?

  • superheadcase

    We watch this because we want real fights not WWE . and were looking for the best man to win. but with Dana all he is worried about is money . Well Dana your losing a long time fan just to be greedy. It’s almost like your letting the children run the house . Oh yeah and the crying about 151 in the end Dana you are the one that is responsible for making it happen.You dropped the ball not your fighters .Most presidents of companies have a back up plan if I was to perform this way I would have been looking for a job .

    And as far as hendo . It looks like your punishing him for getting hurt , that’s bull you should have offered him the coaching spot against Jones. instead you put some loud mouth that doesn’t deserve a shot at the title. The UFC is looking soooooo rigged now a days . Hey Kris have fun with your WWUFC

  • Jason Decipher

    I hope Chael gets injured

  • H.Billy


    don’t ever try to go to talking school, just keep putting on exciting fights.

  • Mike

    Once again Dana screws over Dan again…remember UFC 100… winner of Dan vs Bisping was getting title shot. Dana hates Dan, simple as that.