One teammate publically backing another to win a big title fight is probably to be expected, but nevertheless Chael Sonnen’s characteristically bombastic declaration that Dan Henderson will defeat UFC® light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 151 on September 1 has people talking.
Sonnen and “Hendo” have known each other a long time, both being signature members of the famed Team Quest since the 1990s. And “the American Gangster” – who last week announced his own move up to the light heavyweight division – believes his friend will blast his way to yet another big fight victory.
“I believe in Hendo – and so should you,” Sonnen said. “If you look at Jon Jones and think of a man who can beat him, you would think of someone with great KO power, the best chin in the sport because – with his reach – Jones is going to hit you, great wrestling and a relentlessly aggressive style. That man already exists – and his name is Dan Henderson.”
The two-time UFC middleweight title challenger went on to state the main event of UFC 151 is nothing less than a fight to determine the identity of the greatest light heavyweight of all time.
Sonnen said: “Here’s the thing people are missing about this fight at UFC 151. Yes, the UFC light heavyweight championship is on the line, but this is about more than who currently holds the UFC 205lbs gold.
“This fight on September 1 is a fight to determine who is the greatest ever light heavyweight. I give Jon Jones his due as a great fighter. He’s beaten some outstanding fighters already and looked impressive each time. He’s already accomplished so much in the sport – just not as much as Dan Henderson.
“Everyone talks about pound-for-pound champions and pound-for-pound achievements. But if you look at what pound-for-pound should mean – who has the ability to beat small fast guys, the ability to knockout big, strong guys, to move through the divisions with your skill-set and win – the only conclusion a rational person would make is Dan Henderson is the pound-for-pound greatest of all time.
“Dan beat the 170lbs champion in Carlos Newton, he’s won the PRIDE 183lbs title, the PRIDE 205lbs title, the STRIKEFORCE 205lbs title, and he’s won the two great tournaments in our sport, the UFC tournament back in the day and the PRIDE Grand Prix. All in all he’s beaten 11 world champions in his career. The man is the best of all time. That is who Jon Jones is facing.
“Jones is a talented kid but he’s taking on a man, and I’d bet on the man any day of the week.”
UFC® 151: JONES vs. HENDERSON will be available live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on UFC.TV, iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN, and in Canada on BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for Standard Definition and $54.99 US/$59.99 CAN for High Definition.
For more information or current fight news, visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, and with offices in London, England, Toronto, Canada and Beijing, China, UFC® produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world.
In 2011, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which now airs on FX in an exciting new live format.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 150 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with nearly two million followers on Twitter.
Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed UFC magazine, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, and JAKKS Pacific articulated action figures.
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Coming up next: UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson is LIVE on Pay-Per-View Saturday, Sept. 1 from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas at 7 pm PT/10 pm ET. For more info on UFC 151 or the UFC, visit www.UFC.com.