The UFC’s announcement that Chael Sonnen would be getting the next light-heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones after the two compete against each other on The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 next year has certainly got everyone talking, and produced some notable reactions from some of the sport’s other stars.
Not surprisingly, Dan Henderson, who had originally been scheduled to fight Jones in September before pulling out with an injury, is less than impressed with the decision despite the fact that he’s friends and training partners with Sonnen.
“I guess I should just quit training to win fights and to be exciting for the fans and just go to shit talking school,” Hendo stated in a Twitter message directed at UFC President Dana White.
Meanwhile the man who was originally scheduled to welcome Sonnen to the UFC’s 205lb division in December, Forrest Griffin, has shrugged off the news that Sonnen’s been propelled to an immediate title shot.
“I’m not mad at him,” Griffin told UFC Tonight on Fuel TV. “Why fight your way to the top when you can talk your way to the top?”
One man who’s on the fence about the announcement is Rashad Evans who’s clearly wondering why he’s been denied an immediate title shot with Anderson Silva at 185lbs if Sonnen’s getting to jump into one at 205lbs.
“For the most part, I commend the UFC for making the fights happen that the people love to see,” Evans said on Fuel TV. “But as a fighter, I was like, ‘Man, what’s it gonna take for me to get a chance to get back up in there?’ I wanted to fight Anderson (Silva), but it didn’t end up happening because they said I needed one more fight to be a contender at middleweight. But I guess it’s not the same for everybody.”
It’s interesting to note that before the announcement was made even Jon Jones was publicly hinting that he was torn over the idea of Sonnen jumping the queue.
“A part of me wants to do it for the fans the other part of me feels as if it delegitimizes the importance of championship,” Jones wrote on Twitter about the possibility of the fight taking place late last week.
Of course Chael Sonnen himself is already relishing his next title shot. The background to his Twitter page has a picture of him posing with a UFC belt over his shoulder with the caption, “Chael Sonnen For UFC Champion: In With The Class, Out With The Trash.”
He’s also already started taking digs at Jones on the social media site.
“You don’t GIVE. I TAKE. Remembah that, Bonesie-Boy.”