Audio: Dana White tells ESPN that Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen are the exact same opponent

TUALATIN, OR - JUNE 26: Chael Sonnen conducts a workout whiel his coaches Scott McQuary and Clayton Hires watch at the Team Quest gym on June 26, 2012 in Tualatin, Oregon. Sonnen will fight Anderson Silva July 7, 2012 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

What's the difference between Team Quest graduates Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson?

Not much, according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, which is why he can't figure out why reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones would turn down a headlining bout against the former when the latter went down with injury.

From his call to ESPN:

"Other than him (Sonnen) being a southpaw, they're the exact same guy, they come out of the same camp and they’ve been training together their entire career. The difference between Chael Sonnen is Chael Sonnen is a wrestler, he doesn’t even hit as hard as Dan Henderson does. The only thing that is changing is his stance, he’s a southpaw. Other than that, he doesn’t even hit as hard as Dan Henderson. He’s 185-pounder. Dan Henderson has knocked out the who’s-who in mixed martial arts over his entire career. This guy is dangerous."

ZUFFA canceled the UFC 151 pay-per-view (PPV) event and rescheduled "Bones" to face off against Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 next month in Toronto, after the "insane" decision by Jones and his coach, Greg Jackson, to pass on a possible Sonnen fight.

Complete audio of White's reaction, after the jump.

Well, obviously, you know, to fight a guy like Jonny "Bones" Jones on eight days notice, it's tough to get a replacement. I called, you know, Machida is the number one contender after Henderson. When I called him, he was literally on a flight landing in some country for a connecting flight to Brazil.

We exhausted all the options, we called Chael Sonnen. Chael Sonnen literally said to me. "I’ll fight him tonight in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay or any other casino you choose." He was ready to go. We call Jon "Bones" Jones, not only is he the world champion, he is one of the top three ranked pound-for-pound fighters in the world, he said, "I will not fight Chael Sonnen on eight days notice."

His coach, Greg Jackson, told him not to take the fight saying it would be the biggest mistake he ever made in his entire career, which is absolutely insane. The guy is the world champion, he has beat all the top guys over the last year and a half. We bought the UFC in 2001, I’ve done over 1800 fights, no fighter has ever turned down a fight and this is the first-ever UFC that’s ever had to be cancelled.

Other than him (Sonnen) being a southpaw, they're the exact same guy, they come out of the same camp and they’ve been training together their entire career. The difference between Chael Sonnen is Chael Sonnen is a wrestler, he doesn’t even hit as hard as Dan Henderson does. The only thing that is changing is his stance, he’s a southpaw. Other than that, he doesn’t even hit as hard as Dan Henderson. He’s 185-pounder. Dan Henderson has knocked out the who’s who in mixed martial arts over his entire career. This guy is dangerous.

If you are the champion and you are pound-for-pound one of the best in the world, you should be ready to fight all comers. It’s never happened in the history of the sport. Well, you know, the reality is, the guy’s our champion, but, you know me, I’m going to tell you exactly what I think and how I feel and that’s what we’re doing. I’m not going to sugar coat and say, "Well, you know, Jon didn’t want to take the fight, he didn’t like it." It’s not really how this works, you know? One of the things that I always complain about in boxing is guys not fighting guys. If you are the best in the world in your weight class, you definitely shouldn’t worried about fighting a 185-pounder.

Hear more from White on yesterday's UFC media conference call by clicking here.

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