When UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ original UFC 151 opponent, Dan Henderson, injured his knee and was forced out of the fight, Chael Sonnen offered to step in, but Jones declined.
The event was eventually cancelled, but Sonnen got his fight with Jones anyway after coaching opposite the youngest champion in UFC history on the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter.
The two met in the main event of UFC 159 on April 27 and Jones defended his title by finishing Sonnen with punches and elbows on the ground late in the opening round, but Sonnen believes the fight was stopped early.
“I do think it was stopped too early. I was surprised when they stopped the fight,” said Sonnen during a question and answer session during the UFC Fan Expo leading up to UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman.
Sonnen did not protest the stoppage when it happened, but has said he was defending himself when the referee called a halt to the fight.
“Anytime you’re in that type of competition, whether you agree with it or you don’t agree with it, you get up and you walk out because those are the rules,” he said. “I’ve won plenty of fights where they stopped them too early, so it goes both ways. Yes, it was stopped too early.”
Sonnen is scheduled to face former light heavyweight titleholder Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on Aug. 17 on Fox Sports 1, but would like to get another crack at the champion.
“You’ve got to understand, I stayed to fight. I walked out of the ring. That’s more than I can say for Jon Jones,” said Sonnen. “I stayed to fight. His little piggy ran to the market. And I’m supposed to somehow be impressed because he got a couple of takedowns?
“I’d sure like to do it again.”