UFC 151: Chael Sonnen 'Dan Henderson Is Pound-for-Pound Greatest of All Time'
If there’s one thing we have learned about Chael Sonnen, it’s that he needs no help inserting himself into any conversation. If Sonnen has a microphone in his face and a topic to riff on, you can expect that he’ll be ready to do so and will deliver a handful of juicy soundbites.
Over the past several years, Sonnen’s favorite topic of discussion, other than himself, has been UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. But with Silva defeating him twice, Sonnen has moved onto bigger things, recently announcing that he would be moving to the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
With that announcement also came some jousting with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Jones has made it clear that he has no interest in getting caught up in the verbal and social media games Sonnen plays. Jones has also made it known that he feels Sonnen is not deserving of a shot at his crown—and that if it were up to him, Sonnen would be pretty far down on the list of potential light heavyweight contenders.
One man that is deserving of a shot at Jones’ title is Dan Henderson, and on September 1, the former Pride and Strikeforce champion will get a shot at Jones and his belt when the two meet in the main event of UFC 151.
As I said, Sonnen has no issue offering an opinion on any subject, and when the UFC approached him to discuss the fight between his former Team Quest teammate, Henderson, and Jones, he said:
I believe in Hendo - and so should you. 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.
Sonnen continued, giving Jones his due as one of the best fighters to ever grace the light heavyweight division. But as for the best of all time, he said that crown will rest on Henderson’s head:
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.
Not only does Sonnen see Henderson as the greatest light heavyweight, but he said that he is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport:
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 knock out 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 and Henderson will face off at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev., on September 1. Jones (16-1) will look to extend his unbeaten streak to eight fights with a win over Henderson, while Henderson (29-8) will be looking for his fifth consecutive win.
As for the odds, Jones is a heavy favorite, coming in at -620 to Henderson’s +420, according to betonfighting.com.
*All quotes provided to B/R by the UFC.
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