UFC 159: How Chael Sonnen can beat Jon Jones

Kid Nate lays out three reasons he can see Chael Sonnen scoring a huge upset win over Jon Jones at UFC 159.

I'm back with the first Rant of the Day in a long long time.

It occurred to me that Chael Sonnen has a much much better chance of beating Jon Jones at UFC 159 on Saturday than anyone is giving him credit for. Here's why:

  1. Over-confidence
    Jones is young, essentially undefeated and basically untested. He's talking about breaking Tito Ortiz' record for most consecutive Light Heavyweight title defenses and then moving on to "super fights" against Anderson Silva and/or Cain Velasquez. Even when he's doing promotional work opposite Sonnen he's not engaged with Sonnen (which may be wise given Sonnen's cheap pro-wrestling bullshit). Sonnen may not have earned this title shot but Randy Couture didn't earn his title shot against Tim Sylvia back in 2007 either and we all know how that turned out.

    The Mike Tyson comparisons are apt as well. Let's not forget that Jones is the same age (25) that Tyson was when he lost to Buster Douglas. There is no reason to believe Jones is making the same kind of managerial, lifestyle and training camp mistakes that cost Tyson but we have no way of knowing what's really going on in his head, in his home and in his camp.

  2. Fighting style
    Sonnen's style gives him either an excellent chance of beating Jones or no chance of beating Jones. It all comes down to whether or not Sonnen, the former Greco-Roman international medalist, can handle Jones, the former junior college wrestler, in the clinch. If Sonnen can, it's going to be a long long night for Jon Jones.
    Jones' striking style, which eschews the jab you'd think a 6'4" man with an 84" reach would be basing his striking style on, is only possible because he has no fear of being taken down. The spinning elbows and leaping flying knees may just be invitations for Chael Sonnen to put Jones on his back. Same for the front kicks and the leg kicks.
    Jones' dominance in the clinch is largely based off his ability to capitalize on his freakly long legs and almost supernatural leverage. That might be the kind of advantage that an experienced top level Greco wrestler like Sonnen knows just how to defuse.
    Jones' guard is completely untested. If he can't toy with Sonnen in the clinch like he has everyone else, it could be a long hard night on his back for Jon Jones.
Sure Jones remains the overwhelming favorite, I'm just saying I'd give Chael a 45-50% chance of winning the fight.

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