Sonnen, who offered to take the place of Dan Henderson and face UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones on short notice, had some typical Chael P. Sonnen comments for “Bones.”
UFC president Dana White said that Sonnen was the only fighter willing to take the main event slot vs. Jones, but that Jones phoned him Thursday morning to say he would not accept the fight.
“Nobody has to fight,” Sonnen said. “Nobody has to go with this coming. When this industry is counting on your to honor your word, you have to honor your word.”
Sonnen mentioned that Henderson was willing to face Jones despite the partial tear in his knee, adding, “Dan Henderson on one leg was willing to do what Jon Jones healthy wasn’t.”
Jones and Sonnen remain on schedule to fight again this year, but not against one another. Jones will meet Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 in September, while Sonnen takes on Forrest Griffin at UFC 155 in December.
When asked if he knew why Jones turned down the fight, Sonnen answered, “Maybe Jon thought he had to drive (to Las Vegas). I just don’t know why he won’t fight me next Saturday. What else does he have to do? Is there a wine tasting at the local race track?”
The remaining fights on UFC 151 will be placed among other cards. The co-main event has been moved to October, but several fighters will have to try and withstand another month of no income from the UFC, a matter that upset Sonnen.
“The promotion is gonna move on just as strong as ever. The promotion always does because absolute geniuses run it,” Sonnen said. “For the fighters, this is gonna be really hard. There is a domino effect. Some of those guys, and I say this with absolute sincerity, those guys, it’s a difference of eating or skipping a meal (not receiving a check for fighting). They are gonna lose out because one brat couldn’t find the courage to step up.”