UFC President Dana White was quick to dismiss criticism from media and others about Chael Sonnen having the opportunity to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in April for the title. White spoke on today’s UFC conference call that can be heard in full right here.
UFC officials announced that Sonnen and Jones would coach opposite one another on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and then fight on a PPV sometime in April 2013.
White stated that the fight made sense because Jones will be out of action because of an arm injury until April, fans want to see the fight, and other potential title contenders will have the opportunity to fight and help identify the next light heavyweight contenders.
“Every one of these guys that are bitching about the title shot right now were offered the fight and turned it down,” White said. “They refused to fight Jon Jones. Now, they’re bummed out because Chael stepped up on eight days’ notice and he’s going to coach ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and going to fight him. It’s pretty simple.”
Chael Sonnen didn’t try to convince anyone that he has earned the title shot by winning fights in the octagon while on the call. However, he did speak on the light heavyweight fighters that have been vocal about him getting the title shot instead of them.
“Welcome to life,” he said. “We don’t deserve things. You get what you get. And let’s understand, not one of those fighters said, ‘Hey Dana, I’ll fight Chael. Let me prove that I’m the No. 1 contender.’ Not one of them.”
Sonnen was originally supposed to face former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in December at UFC 155. It was going to be his first light heavyweight bout since 2005. Sonnen was last seen in action getting demolished against Anderson Silva in their epic rematch at UFC 148. Sonnen dominated the champion with his wrestling in the first round, only to get away from his gameplan which allowed Silva to tee off with strikes that put Sonnen away via TKO.
Jon Jones is coming off his fourth consecutive title defense where he submitted Vitor Belfort in the fourth round at UFC 152. However, Belfort caused the injury to the arm of Jones in the first round with a very tight armbar that the champion eventually escaped to dominant the fight.
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