UFC 151 Off: Why Chael Sonnen's Stock Just Rose with Dana White and the UFC
With the breaking news that UFC 151 has been canceled due to a Dan Henderson injury and Jon Jones turning down a fight with Chael Sonnen, the UFC has now been put in a very awkward place.
Dana White has made it very clear that he is very upset with Jones' decision to follow trainer Greg Jackson's suggestion not to accept a fight with any other opponent on such short notice. After Jones' drunk driving incident earlier this year, it's not hard to believe that the UFC light heavyweight champion might be the executive board's most disliked fighter on the roster at the moment.
But while Jones is sure to get plenty of grief for his decision to not take the fight, former UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has seen his stock skyrocket yet again.
Sonnen, who most recently competed against Anderson Silva in the main event of July's UFC 148 card, officially announced his move up to light heavyweight on the August 14 edition of UFC Tonight. He is tentatively set to fight Forrest Griffin in late-December.
Chael could have easily been justified in simply getting his body in shape to fight at a weight class 20 pounds heavier than what he has been competing at for the past handful of years, but when rumors began to circulate that Dan Henderson needed to be replaced, Chael continued the insults he had been throwing at Jones for weeks and also threw his name in the hat.
While he may not be the most deserving challenger at the moment, as we have seen numerous times in the past, a Chael Sonnen fight sells tickets and it sells pay-per-views.
For the UFC, Chael Sonnen accepting the fight, on only a few days notice, was a dream come true. But it was never meant to be.
Nevertheless, Chael has unquestionably made himself known as perhaps the greatest "company man" on the UFC roster today. He understood that there was a void on the card, he understood that the company needed someone that they could sell to the fans and he understood that he was the best man for the job.
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