Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen both wanted the same thing: a chance to fight Jon Jones for the UFC light-heavyweight title. But the two apparently won't let the conflicting goals affect their friendship.
On Thursday, Sonnen had no problem looking past Henderson's criticism of his title shot, telling TSN's Michael Landsberg that Henderson would be one of his assistant coaches on The Ultimate Fighter as well as a cornerman for his April 27, 2013 title fight with Jones.
Neither of those is apparently a done deal, but Henderson told MMA Fighting on Thursday night that he would be open to both possibilities.
TUF has already begun taping, and while Henderson has not been among the group of coaches on the Las Vegas set so far, when asked if he would indeed grace the UFC hopefuls with his presence, he indicated that he would if his schedule allowed it.
"Possibly," he wrote via text message. "If I can get away."
His presence as a cornerman for Sonnen also seemed to be up in the air, but again, Henderson voiced a willingness to participate if things lined up.
"Not sure," he said when asked of the possibility. "If he wants me there, I'm sure I would be there."
The 42-year-old multi-division champion had been penciled in to fight Jones at UFC 151 before a knee injury knocked him out of the bout. On Wednesday, Henderson said the placement of Sonnen, who has not fought in the light-heavyweight division for years, into the title fight was "a bad decision for the sport" and "makes the sport lose a little bit of integrity," though he said that he didn't blame Sonnen for accepting the opportunity placed in front of him.
Henderson, who has been a mentor to Sonnen for most of his career, said that he would have accepted the TUF coaching spot opposite Jones if only he was asked. Instead, he'll look forward to the continued rehabilitation of his knee, a rumored February fight with Lyoto Machida, and perhaps, a guest coaching spot alongside his old buddy.
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