When Dan Henderson returned to the UFC after a few years in Strikeforce he entered the organization with a divisional belt in tow and an opening round knockout of heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko. He then came out winner in a Fight of the Year candidate with Mauricio Rua, cementing his position as the top contender to Jon Jones’ light heavyweight crown.
Though an injury forced Henderson out of a scheduled scrap with Jones, most felt he would still be next in line for “Bones” given his accomplishments and status as a legitimate legend. However, as fans learned this week, Chael Sonnen was pegged for the honor instead despite having never won in the UFC as a light heavyweight and suffering a strike-based stoppage in his previous bout.
Understandably, the UFC’s decision to award Sonnen for talking trash instead of stringing together wins didn’t sit well with Henderson who took to Twitter and let his opinions be known.
“I guess I should just quit training to win fights and to be exciting for the fans and just go to sh*t-talking school,” wrote the hard-hitting icon. “I will always (have) love for Chael and don’t blame him for saying yes to a big opportunity. Giving him that fight now degrades the sport of MMA.”
Sonnen’s name first came up in connection with Jones when he volunteered to fill the vacancy created by Henderson’s health-related woe with only a week to prepare for the pairing. His boldness coupled with the stream of smack he spewed directed at Jones in the wake of the 25-year old champion turning the fight down ultimately inspired the UFC to give him a crack at the gold without actually deserving it based on performance.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC