Did Chael Sonnen Know about Dan Henderson’s Injury Weeks Ago?

September 3, 2012
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Chael Sonnen at UFC 148Training partners, friends and teammates are always going to know about a fighter’s injuries, cuts or mishaps well before it ever lands on the desk of a reporter or even UFC officials.

It’s long been noted that fellow UFC competitors Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen are close friends and former training partners. It was because of that relationship that conspiracy theories began popping up everywhere after Henderson was injured and forced out of UFC 151, and Chael Sonnen was the man looking to replace him in his fight against Jon Jones.

Just a couple of weeks earlier, Sonnen made his intentions to move to 205 pounds known and immediately began a social networking and verbal assault aimed directly at Jones. As the conspiracy theory goes, Sonnen knew about Henderson’s injury ahead of time and began attacking Jones as the perfect way to swoop in and gain a fight with him on short notice.

Sonnen’s manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc., recently spoke to MMAWeekly Radio about that very subject, and he was happy to dispel all the rumors.

“Chael has not put on a pair of gloves since he took the ones off the night he fought Anderson Silva. He has not trained one day other than some light jogs around the neighborhood, something like that,” Roberts said.

“Completely 100-percent not true. Everybody’s saying that Chael knew about Dan being hurt, that’s why he was talking about Jon (Jones). No, Chael was talking about Jon because Jon is the 205-pound champion and that is where Chael is shooting for; that’s who he wants to fight.”

Sonnen will return to the light heavyweight division in December to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 155, so as soon as he knew he was going back up to 205 pounds, he targeted Jones because he has the title, nothing more, according to Roberts.

Since the fight didn’t pan out for Sonnen to face Jones at UFC 151, it doesn’t mean the “American Gangster” is letting up his attack on Jones. He’s continued to jab and poke at Jones on Twitter, and even believes his newly scheduled fight against Vitor Belfort won’t happen and he’ll once again get the call.

“He’s definitely hoping it happens, but right now he’s just not sure if Belfort will show up to fight. For whatever reasons of his own, he thinks that. You’ve got to assume Belfort is going to show up and move forward from there. That’s really where we’re at,” Roberts revealed.

The focus right now, according to Roberts, is “100-percent” on Sonnen facing Griffin at UFC 155, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to continue taking potshots at Jones whenever he has the chance.

It’s a pretty simple philosophy for Sonnen and it’s not going to change any time soon.

“If you have the belt,” Roberts said. “You are in his sights.”

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  • Booker T

    Yeah whatever, he knew.

  • gnodeb

    Where is smoke there’s fire…

  • me vs you

    this guy has barely won a fight in well over a year(and i don’t count the bisping fight, because chael didn’t win that fight and even he knows that and i probably could have submitted stann)and he’s still in the news every day. why? because he can talk.
    well, he at least has that i guess, because he can’t fight.
    he should just throw in the towel and hit the grecko-roman circuit, or become an mma commentator…maybe he can replace joe rogan(i’m sick of listening to rogan overhype every new addition to the ufc before they’ve even fought)

    • America… F*** yeah! Tells you everything you need to know about Sonnen’s popularity. Sonnen is 70% gimmick 30% wrestler. His gimmick is that he is some kind of ‘Stone Cold’ red, white and blue, All-American hero.

      His walk and his talk are two COMPLETELY different things.

      Can’t believe people still believe the ‘hype’ that comes out of his mouth.

      Americans wanted someone at 185 they could cheer for, and believe in, and Chael knew he could be that guy, but only by spouting his mouth off, doing his talking in the ring alone wouldn’t have gotten him a titleshot any time soon (Sonnen’s style doesn’t match up well against many 185ers, who tend to be almost as good wrestlers as Sonnen but better strikers, but it does match up well against Silva, whose weakness is obviously wrestling).

      This guy took a page (or twenty) out of the Pro Wrestling Handbook, that says a fighter with a gimmick and good on the mike will be a bigger draw than someone who is simply a better wrestler (but w/o gimmick or mike skills)

      • TKD

        Chael is a f*cking douche bag!

        • B-rok

          so is jon jones!

      • we do have someone we can cheer for at 185 lbs he is a real american hero Brian Stann if you want someone else at 185 we can cheer for how about rich franklin, mark munoz, or chris weidman. there are plenty of americans at 185 lbs we can cheer for

    • MrAdidas

      UGhh what?!? 1st: You don’t count the fight/WIN vs. Bisping b/c he didn’t win that fight?!? Are you really that stupid? According to the the stats, the UFC, the 3 judges & the commission Sonnen did win the fight. Was it very close? Absolutely, it could have gone either way, BUT watch the fight again, what exactly did Bisping do to really convince you he won the fight?!? He landed some strikes & defended a couple takedowns, while Sonnen did take Bisping down & did little GnP, but still did some & he was never taken down & he also landed some strikes, yet you claim the guy who did the least won the fight?!? Glad to know that what you “think/ASSume” doesn’t mean sh##.

      2nd: As for you submitting Brian Stann …?!? LOL sure you can, another keyboard big mouth in his mom’s & dad’s basement talking about how he could beat an MMA/UFC fighter, yet he’s not fighting in the UFC, and probably has NEVER fought an MMA fight in his life. If you’re so good, then why not show us, anyone can say stupid & uneducated stuff on the interWEB or MMA sites, but doing it is a completely different story. Until I see you fight in any “legit” MMA organization, STFU about being able to beat a UFC fighter.

      3rd: “he/Sonnen can’t fight” … but yet, he backed up EVERYTHING he said he was going to do to Silva & more in their 1st fight, which NO ONE believed, including me. Silva was spanked for 23.5 mins vs. a guy/Sonnen EVERYONE thought was going to get KTFO in the 1st Round, including me. Sonnen did what no other fighter in the UFC was able to do, win more than 1 round, won 4 straight (would have been 5 straight rounds vs. one of the best EVER), out striked Silva on the feet & Sonnen isn’t a “boxer”, landed more strikes to Silva in the 1st Round, then all of Silva’s UFC’s oponents combined, made Silva look human, and he embarrassed Silva. Then Sonnen did the same thing in the 1st Round of they’re rematch & MOUNTED Silva. The ONLY reason Silva wasn’t taken down in the 2nd Round was b/c Silva had a hold of Sonnen’s shorts for over 15 secs STRAIGHT, b/c Silva knew he couldn’t prevent the takedowns any other way & had Sonnen taken him down again in the 2nd, then Sonnen would be up 2-0 & who knows what damage Sonnen would/could have done with alot more time on the clock, especially if he had mounted Silva AGAIN. I know every fighter holds on to their oponents shorts, but it’s usually only for 3-4 secs & NOT 15+ secs.

      I’m no Sonnen fan, but I give the guy credit for actually doing what he said he was going to do & then some, which is very very rare in the UFC. Like you, alot of UFC fighters do alot of trash talking, but rarely ever back it up (BJ Penn – “to the death Georges” – ‘I quit’ BAHAHAHA). Sure Silva won both fights, but Sonnen made him look humnan & very beatable, I also believe Sonnen can beat Silva & would have in their rematch had Silva not hold on to Sonnens shorts for as long as he did. Sh## happens, move on. Quit crying b/c Chael embarrassed your boy 6 out 7 Rounds, which is 6 more rounds than Silva should had ever fought.

    • MrAdidas

      My rant is not about you disliking Sonnen, I mean most people dislike the guy, it’s your right, I have no issue with that, I’m not a Sonnen fan, but I think he’s funny & very smart (business wise). But to say that he didn’t win a fight, in which he did is stupid. To say you could submit Stann, yet you do not fight in any legit organization, & chances are you have never competed in a real MMA fight (most likely) is also stupid. And then to say that Sonnen can’t fight, yet he embaressed one of the best fighters EVER in all of MMA 6 out of 7 Rounds they fought, is completely stupid & uneducated.

      At least Stann (the guy you could submit … wink wink) & Sonnen (the guy who can’t fight, but he really can) have the balls to train & fight in MMA, and they fight in the pinnacle organization of MMA, while you talk crap about them behind your computer screen. Please send me your MMA record & accomplishments to prove me wrong … that you are NOT just another keyboard warrior who just talks crap about people b/c it’s easy to do, and b/c you don’t have to prove anything that you say is actually TRUE!!!

      I’ll be more than happy to issue an apology to you & admit I’m wrong, though I highly doubt I am.

      • Richurd Cheese

        Mr. Adidas, you talk a lot, but know very little. I just read your post on another article talking about Roy Nelson never being knocked out. Roy Nelson has been knocked out twice. You are probably new to MMA, and know only a Dana White controlled sport. You should watch some old fights…

  • This guy has been competing his whole life. From a high level of wrestling to professional mma. And he keeps fighting even after a tough loss. He talks some crazy talk but its all in good sportsmanship. The guy would step in on a days notice to fight. Your gonna win and your gonna lose, especially at this level off competition; c’mon who hasn’t Silva beaten up? But this guy Chael keeps fighting and thats what a true fighter is. Nobody will know if he actually knew or not. But him taking shots at Jones makes sense, him and Dan are close and what else better to do then get in his head a bit and throw in maybe an emotional distraction.

  • The saying “beating a dead horse” comes to mind when I read this. Come on

  • greaseygranny

    Even if true, who gives a rats asshole? Seriously? So he had a few weeks of training, hahahahahaha. Wtf is going on here?

  • claudiast.

    Chael Sonnen is not at all trustworthy. Not on any level…

    • MrAdidas

      Prove it? If anything I beleive Sonnen more so than alot of MMA fighters out there … when it comes to MMA/fighting. He backed up his comments about spanking Silva & then some. Unlike Condit who said his fight vs. Diaz was going to be fight of the year & a war, which is was not, far from it. BJ Penn said he was going to fight GSP to the death, then he quit after getting OWNED for 20 mins, etc.. Sonnen has shown up for every fight. You can dislike the guy as a fighter, but to bring in personal “issues” in any regard is pathetic. I could give a rats ass about his personal life & what he’s done, as long as he gives us, the fans 100% in the Octagon, that’s what matters to me, and that should be what matters to you & all of the MMA fans.

      People need to stop taking what he says “personal,” like give me a break. The more you dislike him & hate him, the more he’s laughing at you, laughing b\c you are amking him so much $$$$$, he laughs all the way to the bank.

      I read a post above, the guy wrote how Sonnen was crap & doesn’t know how to fight etc., yet he clicked on the article to voice his opinion, which is what Sonnen wants. While alot of you Sonnen haters are trashing him on MMA sites & stating how much you dislike him, he’s laughing at you, b\c thats WHAT HE WANTS, yet you bitch & complain about the amount of articles being written about him … they write them b\c you keep reading them & comment on them. WOW, I weep for mankind.

      • worldchamp

        “He backed up his comments about spanking Silva & then some.” Are you feeling ok? He didn’t back up sh*t. He said he would beat Silva and BECOME THE UFC CHAMP. He never said he would beat Silva up and walk out a loser. Last I checked he isn’t the champ, so I am not sure what anything else means.

        I know it makes you sleep better at night knowing that he was winning the fight, but at what point do you admit that he lost? The world is full of people that were once wealthy, but are now homeless. Do you think the guy living in the street walks around bragging about how big his house WAS? Does he tell people that he COULD HAVE had more cars??? You have a loser’s mentality, so you cheer on Sonnen. The guy will never be champ.

      • soboc1

        He also said if AS beat him he would leave the UFC, didnt back that up either. Sonnen is the king of bringing up personal issues. In other words…… SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

  • DrRJE

    Dan Henderson admitted to Kenny and Bas that he’s had the injury for at least a month and was trying to push through it…so, I’d say anyone who was training with him knew.

    This whole thing is Hendo’s fault. He should have let Dana know weeks earlier and they would have saved the card.

    Hendo is a complete moron.

    • gnodeb

      Well, I could understand Hendo tried to go trough and why he didn’t inform JJ about his injury. But I think UFC had to know because of health insurance. They know and yet they played Sonnen card. And they trashed their own champ for it. So sad…

      • If Hendo knew, his sparring partners knew. If they knew, UFC should have known. If UFC knew, they should have lined up more fighters in the likely event Dan has to withdraw.

        It all smells like UFC trying to take the belt off Jon Jones, TBH. Because why should the fight on short notice against Sonnen have been a title fight? How is that justified?

        Or was it a title fight simply because that would sell more PPVs for the UFC than Sonnen vs Bones in a ordinary 5-round affair?

  • mmafan59

    Dana is a girl’s name.

  • diazfan209

    he knew, they all knew, but Dan’s fought through injury before and won & he was planning to do it again, but the official UFC doctor took a look at him and said no go

    Dan would have still taken the fight, but Chael was somewhat ready to step in

    Either way, Jones avoids them both

  • shaman

    I really think the past week or so was a kind of idiot test, like some focus group research to see how the “TV watchers” demographic blindly bandwagon meaningless propaganda

    (Well that, and get Dana White temporarily off the hook- in the eyes of those ‘certain’ fans who rage as the wind blows)

    If you didn’t smell Sonnen’s painfully canned gag from the first moment he comes directly off a clumsy loss at middleweight… to challenge one of the company’s best competitors in the next weight category… who has just finished beating a line of former “champions”… please punch yourself in the balls and have another ‘extra big-ass’ taco

  • TKD

    Did Chael Sonnen Know about Dan Henderson’s Injury Weeks Ago? Anyone with a brain can see that he definitely knew about it. Why else would he go up to the LHW division and call out Jones right away like he did? Sonnen is an opportunist, and he knew exactly what he was doing. If you can believe that all of this was just coincidental then you have to be stupid.

  • cockrobin1

    In my estamation it dont matter if he’d known or not. The fact is sonnen was not deservering of this fight. He used the same strategy to get a title fight with Silva, again not deserving. He’s simply just a mouth peice red neck wrestler. However more seriously the ufc obviously think he should be entitled to fight for a championship every fight. After coming of a humiliating loss to Silva middleweight (title fight.) He then decides to move up to lightheavy an again start his mouthing tactics to catapult him again straight into contention. Who else would get away with this other than the red neck all “white american”

    • MMAGod

      While I agree with most of your post, the “white american” comment is idiotic. He gets pushed thru because he sells fights. He sells them very well! Money, not being a “white american” is what Dana cares about. Outside of that stupid comment, I fully agree with you.

  • soboc1

    I think you’re in the wrong thread homie? And what makes Weidman #1 contender? AS struggled with Sonnen too,.and we all know how that turned out. You’re premature sack ridin.

  • markronin

    What’s obviously clear is that the majority of the MMA community are irrational imbeciles who will believe whatever they want to regardless of the evidence. They’d rather believe in wild conspiracy theories than evidence and testimony.

    • RubeKegal

      Sorry Mark, you lost your credibility already.

      • soboc1


    • soboc1

      You didnt read my evidence and HENDOS testimony in the other post? HENDO said he was injured weeks prior to letting Dana know. He and Sonnen are on the same team and you think Sonnen didnt know? Clear enough for you?

    • MMAGod

      Mark, you are a typical, delusional Sonnen nut hugger!

  • dgs

    You may not like Chael the person, but if you’re a fan of the sport, and knowledgeable about the sport, you can’t deny the man is a great MMA. He is the ONLY fighter yet to take Silva to five rounds, and he is the ONLY fighter who would have beaten Silva if not for a careless mistake in the final minutes of the fight. I’m not sure if before Chael there has even been a fighter to win more than a round against Silva. Chael won 4.5 rounds in the first fight, and was winning again in the second.

    Unfortunately Chael, like most wrestlers has always been susceptible to submissions. If his sub defense was as good as the rest of his game is, the man would have been champion a long time ago.

    • soboc1

      My knowledge tells me he is not great at all. He’s 1 and 3 in his last 4 fights (Bisping won), he cant finish a fight (last time he finished besides Stann was 2007). He’s not the ONLY fighter to take Silva 5 rnds (Leites, Maia). You have to win 5 rnds, not 4.5 rnds to win the fight. If the majority of his losses are by triangle or armbar and he still cant defend them, he is not great. Brush up on your knowledge bro.

    • gnodeb

      I have to disagree. His performance inside ring is so weak that without trash talking no one would remember him at all. Close your eyes and think of him. Do you see some highlights or you hear him talking shit!

      That first fight against Silva was epic, but not because of Sonnen… Silva was injured and he wanted to submit Sonnen because of happy meal black belt joke. He risked a lot and got an epic win. Next fight I saw AS going forward with hands down and Sonnen backpedaling :P. Then he fall down… yet people still talking about Sonnen’s hart.

      How he can be good for the sport. He is trashing legit champs and offers nothing in return…

  • Theres always going to be conspiracy theories about everything. Does it seem a bit too convenient that they train together, then Sonnen starts going off on Jones, then Hendo comes up inured? Yes it does, but if that is the truth we will never know.

    Sonnen, judging by his troubled political past and run ins with the athletic commissions, seems like the kind of guy that would take advantage of that information. But I think Hendo is too much of a good guy to let something like that go down.

    I think Sonnen would have a great future in the WWE or behind the announcers table. But I don’t think we will ever see him with gold around his waist. No one has ever talked their way in to a belt…at the end of the day you still have to BEAT the champ to get the belt and Sonnen is 0-2 in title fights

  • mike

    who think sonnen would tell the truth,nothing but the truth?