With Chael Sonnen preparing for a title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 159 and Dan Henderson slated for a possible No. 1 contender's bout with Lyoto Machida at UFC 157, a fight between the two Team Quest products could be closer to reality than most think. Since they're good friends, would Henderson and Sonnen fight each other? "Hendo" says yes.
Henderson (29-8) is scheduled to face former 205-pound champ Lyoto Machida at UFC 157 in February in a fight that will likely determine the No. 1 contender in the division.
Sonnen (27-12-1), on the other hand, recently concluding coaching The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 reality show opposite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and will square off against "Bones" for the title at UFC 159 on April 27, 2013.
Should both men emerge victorious in their upcoming bouts, a collision course between the two friends could be on the horizon.
From their early days of training together at Team Quest in Oregon until now, Henderson and Sonnen have remained close and found tremendous success in mixed martial arts (MMA) by working together.
If push comes to shove, though, Henderson believes a fight with Sonnen is certainly a possibility, but not for any reason other than the fact both men thrive off competition and want to be the best.
Henderson explained the situation in a recent interview with Brazilian news outlet TATAME:
"We're friends, but above all we fight now in the same category and therefore have the same goal. We both compete for the same belt."
"Our friendship is more than a title and we are professional enough to let the rivalry be just inside the Octagon. It would be a different situation, but our profession in this type of situation is quite possible to happen."
As Henderson tells it, a fight with Sonnen wouldn't be about trash talk or one man inflicting damage on the other; instead it would be about finding out who is the best competitor and superior mixed martial artist.
There was some tension between Henderson and Sonnen late last year after "Hendo" missed out on his title shot at the canceled UFC 151 event due to injury, and Sonnen was pegged as the No. 1 contender weeks later after Jones defeated Vitor Belfort at UFC 152. But as of now, the two are still buddies, with Henderson reportedly having helped Sonnen as an assistant coach on TUF 17.
At the moment, this hypothetical match up is just that -- hypothetical. There isn't much of a reason for Henderson and Sonnen to fight unless both win against Machida and Jones, which will be determined in February and April.