Chael Sonnen seems fairly confident that he will be getting to fight Jon Jones sooner rather than later.
He offered to step in for Dan Henderson to face Jones on September 1 when his Team Quest stablemate suffered a torn MCL. The UFC was all for it but Jones refused to accept Sonnen as a replacement; the event was subsequently scrapped.
Several fighters were offered the chance to face Jones on September 22. Four turned it down before Vitor Belfort accepted. But Sonnen tells ESPN Radio that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Belfort pull out - and he is ready to step in if the Brazilian does go walkabout.
“I've got an agreement to fight a gentleman named Forrest Griffin on December 29, but I don't know. Jon Jones has a date of September 22 and right now, he's fighting Vitor Belfort,“ he said.
“Vitor never shows up, Vitor has pulled out of way more fights than he has ever shown up for, so if I had to guess you'll be seeing me fight Jon Jones on September 22.”
Jones’ refusal to accept Sonnen as a late stand-in has cost him badly in PR terms, despite the fact that Sonnen is coming off a loss and has yet to fight in the UFC light-heavyweight division. UFC president Dana White has repeatedly and publicly castigated him and says that UFC 151 will be remembered “as the event that Jon Jones murdered”.