Chael Sonnen’s Praise of Jon Jones Continues: “He’s The Best The Weight Class Has Ever Seen”
Outspoken Vet Says Jones “Considerably Better” Than Anderson Silva
By Kelsey Mowatt
It wasn’t long ago when Chael Sonnen was busy calling out Jon Jones and telling the MMA world that he’s the man who will end the renowned fighter’s reign as light-heavyweight champ. It was more of the Sonnen fans have grown to love, or hate, as the longtime nemesis of Anderson Silva was targeting yet another of the sport’s best fighters, and letting people know that he didn’t think much of the champ. Times have changed.
While Sonnen has amped up the promotional rhetoric more recently, and argued his wrestling will present Jones a challenge he’s never faced before, that’s been about it for the trash talk. There’s been no over the top insults, no calling Jones a fraud, or anything similar to comments he directed towards Silva, which made Sonnen public enemy number one in Brazil.
During TUF 17, Sonnen and Jones appeared to get on rather well, and the Oregon fighter even acknowledged that he quickly grew to respect the 25 year-old wonder. In fact, more recently, it’s been Jones who has questioned Sonnen’s character as he accused the former number one, middleweight contender of using steroids his “entire career”. So, in today’s UFC 159 teleconference, Sonnen decided it was time to return fire, and unleash the verbal assault the media cycle loves to eat it up right? Wrong.
“As great as Jon is, I don’t think he understands how good he is,” said the 36 year-old Sonnen. “For him to pay tribute to Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali, that was a very nice thing for him to do, but the reality is that he could beat Tyson and Ali in the same day. When he says he wants to be the best ever, Jon news flash buddy, you are the best.”
“I’m not going to degrade Jon or what he’s done,” added Sonnen. “He’s a world champion, he’s the best in the weight class, and he’s the best the weight class has ever seen. So, if you’re asking me if I feel pressure, yes, there’s a lot of pressure. This is a tough guy in a tough environment, but, that’s the sport…if you’re saying I don’t deserve the shot or whatever, look, I don’t earn title shots, title shots earn me.”
Later in the call, when asked to compare Silva and Jones, the fiery narrative that Sonnen has utilized to become one of the sport’s biggest draws, quickly returned.
“Here’s the reality with Anderson, I stomped that guy, and you can pick up his little arm as many times as you want, call him the winner, but the fact is that I whipped his ass for 30 minutes; he got the jump on me for less than 30 seconds,” noted Sonnen, who was submitted by Silva in the fifth round at UFC 117 and then stopped by the middleweight champ in round two at UFC 148 last summer. “He never knocked me down; I fell down. They say Anderson is the best, pound-for-pound, he’s not the best round-for-round.”
“I have three 10-8 rounds in my entire career,” an animated Sonnen (27-12-1) continued. “Three rounds of my whole life are 10-8; that’s the gymnastics equivalent to a perfect 10…If you think Jon and Anderson are even close, I’ll run through Jon because I ran through Anderson, but I don’t think they’re close. I think Jon is considerably better than Anderson.”
And Sonnen may have a point, in that, while it’s hard to imagine Jones losing to the vet at UFC 159, it’s just as hard to picture Sonnen recording a 10-8 round.