Re: White to UFC 152 critics, boo-birds: 'Don't ever buy another UFC pay-per-view aga
After his fourth successful UFC light heavyweight title defence Saturday evening, fans were eager to hear who would challenge Jon "Bones" Jones next.
UFC president Dana White, at the UFC 152 post-fight presser, said don't be surprised if Jones takes on Chael Sonnen in 2013. MMA Junkie has the scoop:
I can tell you right now, I think they both want that fight," White told a small group of reporters following the UFC 152 news conference. "I think there are other fights that make more sense. (But) people do want to see it. If enough people want to see it, I guess I'd have to make it.
Sonnen vs. Jones looked like it would come to fruition after Dan Henderson withdrew from UFC 151 just eight days before the event, due to a knee injury.
However, after discussing it over with his head trainer Greg Jackson, the titleholder decided it didn't make sense to fight "The American Gangster" on such short notice and declined the fight.
Jones indicated that he didn't want to give Sonnen "the opportunity of a lifetime" since he did not believe that the two-time middleweight title challenger was deserving of another crack at UFC gold.
The former two-time All-American collegiate wrestler is set to take on a former UFC light heavyweight champion, Forrest Griffin, at UFC 155, scheduled for Dec. 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If Sonnen wins, White already knows what to expect from the outspoken veteran. "He's going to call out Jon Jones, no doubt, (if he beats Griffin)," White said.
White also commended the Team Quest standout for his warrior spirit.
"Everybody talks about him talking his way into fights," White said. "But you know that guy's showing up to fight and win. That's why I don't really have reservations about it. When I called Jon and I thought he was going to take that fight – Chael will fight anybody. That's one of the things I respect about him."
Jones will likely be on the shelf for several months after enduring a deep armbar in the first round of his UFC 152 bout against Vitor Belfort.
While Jones dominated the bout as a whole, Belfort came close early with an armbar from his guard, to the point where the champion admitted he may have suffered nerve damage to his bicep.
Heading into the bout with Griffin, Sonnen is just 2-2 in his last four fights, with both losses coming at the hands of his hated rival, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Would a win over Griffin be enough to set up a grudge match between Sonnen and Jones, or does Chael still have a long ladder to climb before he gets another title shot?