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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- Chael Sonnen