Who says you can’t talk your way into a title fight? Despite telling every ESPN show this past Tuesday that Chael Sonnen’s (Pictured) résumé doesn’t warrant a shot at his crown, it appears UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones may be forced to face Uncle Chael somewhere down the line.
According to UFC president Dana White, the scrap that should have headlined UFC 151 could still be showcased inside the Octagon as long as the demand is there.
“I can tell you right now, I think [Jones and Sonnen] both want that fight,” White expressed following Saturday’s UFC 152 press conference. “I think there are other fights that make more sense, but people do want to see it.
“I don’t know. Who knows? People do want to see it. If enough people do want to see it, I guess I’d have to make it.”
When Dan Henderson bowed out of UFC 151 with a knee injury, Jones declined a last-second bout with Sonnen that could have salvaged the September 1st event. His actions forced Zuffa to cancel their first show since taking the reins in 2001.
Sonnen, who hasn’t fought in the 205-pound division in nearly seven years, owns a 5-3 record under the UFC’s watch. All of those contests took place at middleweight. The 35-year-old is fresh off a TKO loss to 185-pound champ Anderson Silva in the most anticipated rematch in MMA history.
Chael P. made his claim to fame with his initial tango against “The Spider.” Although he dominated Silva for nearly five complete rounds, he was submitted at the 11th hour when the Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt wrapped his legs around Sonnen’s neck.
His nonstop badgering of Silva during their two years between fights earned him worldwide recognition. #MediumRare
“Everybody talks about Sonnen talking his way into fights, but you know that guy’s showing up to fight and win,” White added. “That’s why I don’t really have reservations about it. When I called Jon and I thought he was going to take that fight – Chael will fight anybody. That’s one of the things I respect about him.”
Now that Sonnen is set to swim in Jones’ light heavyweight pond, “Bones” has entered Sonnen’s crosshairs. If he beats Forrest Griffin at UFC 155, don’t be surprised if Jones is included in Sonnen’s post-fight celebratory speech.
“[Sonnen’s] going to call out Jon Jones,” White stated. “No doubt.”