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Coach Mike Winkeljohn Suggests Chael Sonnen Might Have Been Training for Jon Jones Bout

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the fallout of UFC 151's cancellation, it isn't just fans or media who've engaged in speculation about what really happened or who is truly to blame.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones' striking coach, Mike Winkeljohn, told Bloody Elbow Sunday he believes UFC middleweight turned light heavyweight Chael Sonnen could have been training all along to fill in for an injured Dan Henderson.

"Enough's enough, he said. "I can't sit back on the sidelines any longer. All I can say to everybody, don't put this on Jon. There are others to blame. This UFC 151 problem should have been resolved weeks ago. Chael Sonnen is a smart guy with cardio for days. He has relentless takedowns and is a much different fighter than Dan Henderson."

According to Winkeljohn, there appears to be something suspicious about the timing of Sonnen's attacks on Jones in the media or through Twitter, although he never fully explains the mechanics of his theory.

"How long has Chael been attacking Jon in the media? Hmm. He's a man known for moneymaking schemes and cheating by bending the rules. And he's done this in various arenas. I think Chael played almost everyone like a fiddle. But I believe like a coward he tried to train and strike Jon when Jon wasn't looking. But hey, Jon is a warrior, and he, actually we, saw it coming. All I can say to Chael is nice try."

Chael Sonnen declined comment to MMA Fighting when reached by text message.

The manner of the UFC 151's cancellation appears to have significantly increased interest in a potential Jones vs. Sonnen bout. Whether it will ever materialize is uncertain, but according to Winkeljohn he and the team behind Jones would take a fight with the former top middleweight contender given a full training camp.

"Jon vs Sonnen. With no surprise attacks like Pearl Harbor. That's a fight I want to see. Jon will win the war, and I think the UFC should capitalize on it," he said.

"There's nothing more that we want than that."

Audio of Winkeljohn can be heard below.

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