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Despite denials last year, Chael Sonnen says he worked with Dan Henderson to 'set up' Jon Jones prior to UFC 151

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Did Dan Henderson tip off Chael Sonnen that he was injured last year leading up to the ill-fated UFC 151 card before informing the promotion so Sonnen could get a head start at preparing for Jon Jones?

Up until recently, everyone in the Sonnen and Henderson camp denied those claims, despite Jones repeatedly questioning them.

However, on Sunday's episode of "UFC Tonight: Fight Edition" on FUEL TV, Sonnen, who is scheduled to fight Shogun Rua on Aug. 17, admitted he was tipped off about not only Henderson's injury but also Antonio Rogerio Nogueira's recent injury, which led to Sonnen getting matched up against Rua.

"You know, it really got put together through Little Nog's cowardice," Sonnen said. "I've been training for Shogun for a while. I knew this was going to happen. This kind of reminds me of the time me and Dan Henderson set up Jon Jones on eight days' notice."

Sonnen then turned to the camera and said, "he finally admitted it."

Sonnen and Henderson were long-time training partners at Team Quest and many believed they tried to work together to force Jones' hand last year. In the end, Jones turned down the fight against Sonnen, forcing the promotion to cancel the card.

A firestorm ensued afterwards, however, Dan Henderson, who meets Rashad Evans this Saturday at UFC 161, denied on "The MMA Hour" shortly after the cancellation that Sonnen was preparing for a Jones fight long before the UFC offered Sonnen to Jones.

"Chael didn’t know anything about it," he said. "He had definitely not been training at all. My guys told me that Greg Jackson said in an interview that Chael was down training with me and getting ready for the fight and knew I was hurt. It was nothing like that at all. He wasn’t even down here. I asked him if he wanted to come down and help me train a couple months ago, but he didn’t come down."

Sonnen's manager Mike Roberts also echoed Henderson's claim.

"Everybody's saying that Chael knew about Dan being hurt, that's why he was talking about Jon (Jones). No, Chael was talking about Jon because Jon is the 205-pound champion and that is where Chael is shooting for; that's who he wants to fight."

Sonnen ended up fighting Jones at UFC 159 in April. He lost via first-round TKO.