Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Chael Sonnen, though, is talking to anyone who will listen.
Sonnen, who accepted an offer to step in and face Jones after Dan Henderson had to pull out of his planned bout with Jones on Sept. 1 with an MCL injury, only to have Jones turn down the bout, appeared on ESPN's SportsCenter and lambasted the absentee champion.
"I just don't know why he won't fight me next Saturday," Sonnen said. "What else does he have to do Saturday, is there a wine tasting at a local racetrack or something that I haven't heard about? I don't know. I don't know what his deal is, maybe Dana didn't make it clear enough that he was willing to fly Jon Jones out, maybe Jones thought he had to drive. ...
"Jon Jones has his own way of going about things," said Sonnen. "This guy is an entitled brat, and when you get that way, you're surrounded with people who tell you these things. You don't think of anyone else but yourself. He's now with Nike, Nike with Jon Jones will have to change their slogan to ‘Just Do Nothing.'"
Asked if it was fair for Jones to face a new opponent on just over a week's notice, Sonnen contrasted Henderson's attempts to stick with the fight to Jones' response.
"We're a volunteer army, nobody has to fight, nobody has to go with this company and go into this line of work," said Sonnen. "But, when you choose to, and when you sign your name to a contract, with an industry that's counting on you to honor your word, you've got to honor your word. Dan Henderson was on one leg, and did everything he could in order to still make that date. Dana White flew him out, had his own doctor look at his knee and said look, he can't go. So Dan Henderson on one leg was willing to do what Jon Jones who's healthy wasn't willing to do."
Sonnen couldn't resist going into straight-up pro wrestling bluster mode, saying Jones passed up an opportunity to beat Sonnen while Sonnen wasn't prepared.
"I can beat Jon Jones, but he can beat me too," Sonnen said. "This was his opportunity to get me on eight days' notice. Eight days notice is going to turn to zero days notice. All you do the final week is make weight and do a media tour. I'd never step foot in the gym. I wouldn't have gotten one round, one mile, one jump rope, nothing under my belt until I walk into that ring. This was his opportunity to sway the scales in his favor. Now, when I come to beat him, next tim I'm going to get a contract, I'm going to get 90 days, I'm going to get normal training preparation, this was going to be his opportunity to slip one past the greatest icon this sport has ever seen, and and he missed this, he missed it like a chump.
Sonnen went on to talk about the trickle-down effect on fighters who will be missing out on a paycheck due to the cancelled card.
"For the fighters, this is going to be really hard," Sonnen said. "This is going to make things very, very hard on those guys who are struggling. It's not just the athletes, they have trainers, they have managers, they have their team and their sparring partners, they're all expecting a paycheck. ... those guys, its a difference of eating or skipping a meal for some of those guys that are done the chain, some of the training partners and stuff. You get a domino effect on the residual of their athlete competing, and they're going to lose out because one brat doesn't have the courage to step up."
ESPN stated it tried to get Jones side of the story, but Jones' representatives declined to make him available for the segment.
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