Former #1 middleweight contender Chael Sonnen is challenging Jon Jones for the light-heavyweight championship, and while it may have been expected that Sonnen would deliver heavy trash-talk towards the champion, Chael has once again delivered praise of the highest order.
When the UFC booked Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen for both the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter and subsequently the LHW championship, they probably assumed it would produce oodles of fantastic trash-talking quotes from Sonnen. After all, he was chock full of them after Jones turned down a short-notice fight with him at UFC 151. Not only has the trash-talk not really materialized, but Sonnen has chosen on multiple occasions to tout Jones' skills and his reign as champion. In an interview with comedian and sports talk radio host Jay Mohr, Sonnen stated his beliefs that Jones is a considerably better fighter than Anderson Silva. All quotes were transcribed by MMA Mania:
"I think there's a big gap between them," Sonnen said in an interview with Jay Mohr on FOX Sports Radio. "I think that Jon Jones is considerably better, I think he's the best talent our sport has ever seen."
Silva and Jones are widely considered the top 2 fighters in the sport right now. Jones in particular hasn't really come close to losing his title beyond an armbar attempt by Vitor Belfort. Sonnen famously twice fought Anderson, losing by dramatic 5th round submission in their first fight back in 2010, and by 2nd round TKO in the 2012 rematch. When asked why he thinks Jones is better, he had this to say:
"Jon comes out there with something new every time," he said. "Some trick that it appears he's making up. Stuff I've never seen."
Sonnen, who is a massive underdog (even for a Jon Jones opponent), fights Jones on April 27th in Newark, New Jersey in the main event of UFC 159. He promised Mohr that he will bring everything he has to Jones whether win or lose:
"I am 100 percent offense and from the second the referee says, ‘Go.' I will. I will come across and I will bring the fight to him," Sonnen said. "I may go down, he's a good fighter I may go down, but I promise you I will go like a gangster and I will be firing the entire time."
His fight with Jones will mark his first LHW bout since 2005, when he lost to Babalu at UFC 55.
What are your thoughts on Sonnen's comments? Do you consider Jones to not only be the greatest talent in the sport's history, but already better than Anderson Silva?