Jon “Bones” Jones and Dan Henderson were all set to meet in the Octagon on September 1st, 2012 – but that was before an aggravating knee injury forced “Hendo” from the 205-pound showdown.
Or so we were told.
It was Chael Sonnen who trashed Jones on Twitter when he was already set to fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 155 and Jones was set to meet Hendo at UFC 151. Jones fired back, resulting in a rebuttal that ultimately caught the eye of his foe. Jones would refuse to fight Sonnen on eight days notice, but the two would eventually meet at UFC 159 following a coaching stint opposite each other on the Ultimate Fighter Season 17.
Did Sonnen and Henderson get together and plan everything out? Sonnen spilled the beans on UFC Tonight.
“You know, it really got put together through Lil’ Nog’s cowardice. I’ve been training for Shogun for a while. I knew this was going to happen. This kind of reminds me of the time me and Dan Henderson set up Jon Jones on eight days’ notice.”
If what Sonnen says is true, not only is it a slap in the face to the MMA community, but it’s a stab right in the back of the higher ups.
Say Henderson did fight Jones and couldn’t get him out of there in the first few rounds and ended up gassed like he was in the later rounds with Mauricio Rua at UFC 139. Jones has what it takes to be the first man to finish Hendo, there’s no doubt about it. Jones has the size and skills to put anyone down at 205- pounds – and keep them there. Which was Hendo’s downfall against the much smaller Jake Shields in Strikeforce.
So did Henderson and Sonnen plan this to preserve Sonnen’s value – put his name in a main event – while Hendo finds his way back to a shot at a championship going against lesser competition? It didn’t work out so well for Hendo, he lost to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157, and he can lose to Rashad Evans this weekend. If that happens, he can kiss a title fight with Jones at 205 goodbye.