As a matter of fact, "The American Gangster" is so confident in his longtime friend and training partner, he is willing to lick fellow UFC on FUEL TV analyst Rashad Evans' shoe if Henderson loses this evening.
Sonnen gave his gutsy prediction when Karyn Bryant asked him who he thought would win Saturday's co-main event (transcription via MMA Mania).
First off, young lady, this is not a prediction; when I make it, it's a fact. Rashad, hold that shoe up. Now if I get this wrong on the post-fight show, I will lick that shoe. Dan Henderson wins. I mean this, mark my words—I will lick that boot tomorrow on this show. Dan Henderson in the co-main event.
Henderson has won four fights in a row, including his most recent "Fight of the Year" battle with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 139 in November 2011.
Machida has won two of his past three bouts, with his sole loss coming in a championship fight against titleholder Jon "Bones" Jones at UFC 140 in December 2011.
His most recent performance was a masterful one-punch knockout over former The Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4 in August.
Evans, a former champion who lost the belt to Machida, is picking "The Dragon" to win despite Sonnen's bold proclamation.
"I got to go with ‘The Dragon,' man. You know, Dan Henderson's been out for such a long time and ‘The Dragon' seems to be finding his rhythm, so I got to go with Machida."
The winner of this pivotal light heavyweight matchup gets the next title shot, according to UFC president Dana White.
Jones next defends his title against Sonnen at UFC 159 in April.