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Chael Sonnen breaks down Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier at UFC 182: It's not going to be competitive

Former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen breaks down the highly anticipated UFC 182 main event between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 182 is just a few short hours away - a fight card that will culminate with a highly-anticipated light-heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and title challenger Daniel Cormier.

With fans, pundits, and fighters all offering varied opinions on the outcome of the contest, MMAMania's Michael Stets spoke to former title challenger Chael Sonnen to get a detailed analysis from a fighter who actually challenged Jones for the title in the past.

Sonnen immediately explained that, if he were a betting man, he would not try and bet against Jones. He simply could not visualize Cormier finishing the fight. However, that didn't mean he was counting the undefeated Olympian out in the title fight.

"So now, how does Cormier win? And he can win. But he has to pressure him. He has to close that distance. He can't circle with him. The length alone takes that ability away. Plus we saw Vitor do that, it doesn't work. No matter how good of a striker you are, if you're not in range to strike it doesn't count. Cormier understands this concept. And Cormier will close the distance and start to fight from there and he will throw hard punches, very hard. He will get to that clinch position and push him into the fence. Can he keep him there? That is the question. Cormier believes he can keep him there."

Apart from his in-cage ability, Sonnen also believes Cormier has the desire to win. Yet since desire is not quantifiable, he simply does not know whether it is significant enough to impact the outcome of the fight.

"Desire trumps everything in sports. Everything takes a back seat to desire. I think Daniel Cormier has the desire. I know Jon says he has it, but in theory Jon has already climbed that mountain six times. Been there, done that, made the money, had the glory. You can say you are hungry to do it again, but the truth is you are just not. You are not as hungry as the first time you did it. I think that could tip in Daniel's favor. I don't know if the gap between who wants it more is significant enough to actually affect the outcome."

While he refused to give a precise prediction, Sonnen did suggest that the winner of the fight would likely earn a lopsided victory after five gruelling rounds.

"At the end of the night, the shock is going to be how easy the winner wins the fight. One of these guys is going to impose... Forget the fact that Jon has good wrestling, the same as you can forget that Cormier has good striking. It's not dominant. Cormier is either going to succeed at grinding him, closing that distance and fighting him from that close clinch space, either on their feet or on the ground, or he's not.

"If he succeeds in that he is going to kick Jones' ass. If he doesn't succeed in getting into the close quarters, he is getting his ass kicked. It's not going to be competitive. One guy is going to run away with this thing. I do believe it goes all five rounds. I don't see any quit out of either one of those guys. I definitely don't see knockout power or a submission hold, but I think someone is getting their ass kicked for five-straight rounds. I think it's lopsided."

Transcription taken from

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