UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones turned down a last-minute offer to fight Chael Sonnen, which eventually lead to the collapse of UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson. He is instead rescheduled to headline UFC 152 in Toronto, facing former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort.
Sonnen, however, isn’t buying. He believes that Belfort’s history indicates that the Brazilian will eventually drop out of the fight and he, the American Gangsta, will be asked once again to step in and save the day.
“I’ve got an agreement to fight a gentleman named Forrest Griffin on Dec. 29, but I don’t know,” Sonnen said Monday on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles. “Jon Jones has a date on Sept. 22 and right now he’s fighting Vitor Belfort. Vitor never shows up, Vitor has pulled out of way more fights than he has ever shown up for, so if I had to guess, you’ll be seeing me fight Jon Jones on Sept. 22.”
Belfort has had to withdraw from several bouts throughout his career due to injury, the most recent being a planned rematch with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 after the two served a stint as coaches on the first Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Belfort pulled out of that bout, citing a broken hand.
If Belfort can’t make it to fight time, Sonnen says he’s ready to go, just like he was when asked to save the day for UFC 151. He wasn’t, however, as hypercritical of Jones as he was immediately following the UFC 151 cancellation.
“I hear what their side said and it was just mindboggling for me because it has never happened. He was within his rights to do it. Let’s not forget Jones had an agreement and he was ready to honor his side of the agreement, but the agreement changed. The new deal he was presented with he didn’t agree to,” recounted Sonnen.
“That was still a surprise though. That’s just simply never happened, especially when you’re the champion. This whole short notice routine, that doesn’t apply to a guy that is coming off a 10-week training camp. The short notice routine is for the guy that was sitting at home or had no idea there was a fight coming up.
“It didn’t make sense. Nothing added up that he pulled out. I don’t know. He doesn’t need to be scared of anybody.”
If you think that means Sonnen is mellowing over time, think again. He still had a few pointed words for the champ if he does get the call to fight him in Toronto.
“If I was to tell Jon Jones something, I would tell him I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. Good news Jon, the first punch that I throw at you might not land. The bad news is there are going to be five more coming right after it.”
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more UFC 151 cancellation fallout as the situation develops.
- Chael Sonnen
- Jon Jones
- Vitor Belfort