Last night on an episode of UFC Tonight: Fight Edition, Chael Sonnen talked about his upcoming fight with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, and said he knew of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira’s injury well in advance, as was the case (according to him) when Dan Henderson injured his knee prior to UFC 151:
“You know, it really got put together through Little Nog’s cowardice, I’ve been training for Shogun for a while. I knew this was going to happen. This kind of reminds me of the time me and Dan Henderson set up Jon Jones on eight days’ notice.”
Sonnen memorably stepped up on a week’s notice to challenge UFC light heavyweight champ Jon ‘Bones’ Jones to a fight at UFC 151, but Jones ended up turning down the offer and the event was eventually canceled.
This new claim by Sonnen contradicts statements made at the time by Henderson himself and Sonnen’s manager Mike Roberts:
“Chael didn’t know anything about it,” said Hendo. “He had definitely not been training at all. My guys told me that Greg Jackson said in an interview that Chael was down training with me and getting ready for the fight and knew I was hurt. It was nothing like that at all. He wasn’t even down here. I asked him if he wanted to come down and help me train a couple months ago, but he didn’t come down.”
Sonnen’s manager Mike Roberts also echoed Dan Henderson claim:
“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.”
It’s entirely possible that “The Gangster from West Linn” isn’t telling the truth and he’s just toying with the media and fans yet again. Otherwise, he’s effectively confirmed prior suspicions that he knew of Hendo’s injury in advance and thus was preparing to face Bones at UFC 151. What do you believe Penn Nation?