UFC light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, recently wrapped up filming the 17th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite Chael Sonnen, and the two are set to fight for the 205-pound strap.
They’ll meet at UFC 159, set for April 27, at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Many MMA fans don’t expect it to be much of a contest, and former Pride FC middleweight champion, Wanderlei Silva, doesn’t think Sonnen has much of a chance against Jones either.
“If he [UFC president Dana White] thinks this fight is fair, then I think he’s absolutely right,” Silva said during a conversation with Sherdog.com. “It was a fight I wanted to see; [but] Jones will swallow Sonnen. I spoke with Jones and told him that he can win the fight only with jabs, with one hand tied behind his back. The only person who can beat Jones today is Anderson [Silva].”
It’s hard to disagree with Silva’s assessment of the Jones vs. Sonnen match, considering the fact “Bones” has destroyed several former light-heavyweight champions in the past year, while Sonnen hasn’t fought at 205 pounds in quite some time.
Chael didn’t earn his shot at Jones the conventional way either, he secured it by launching a very effective propaganda campaign against the UFC’s light-heavyweight champion.
Of course, White claims it was Sonnen’s willingness to step up to the plate and fight Jones on short notice, in a last minute attempt by the promotion to save the doomed UFC 151 fight card, that got him the shot. But given the fact Sonnen’s verbal assault on Jones started a few weeks before Dan Henderson — who was originally scheduled to face Jon at UFC 151 — pulled out of his commitment, it’s hard to give the Portland native credit for stepping up to the plate, as it seems like he had insider information on what was about to happen.
Sonnen will probably be in over his head when he squares up against Jones at UFC 159, but it should still be an enjoyable contest.
Besides entertaining fans with his quips leading up to UFC 159, you can also count on Chael putting pressure on Jones during their fight, as “The American Gangster” rarely takes a step backwards when he’s inside the Octagon.
Under normal circumstances, Sonnen’s aggression and solid takedowns would be enough to give him a decent chance of victory, but that probably won’t be the case against Jon. Jones made quick work out of tough wrestlers like Ryan Bader and Matt Hamill on his way to the light-heavyweight title, and even Rashad Evans wasn’t able to take him down when they squared up at UFC 145 (Jon pulled guard once).
It’s hard to see Chael having much success getting Jones down or pinned against the cage at UFC 159 (more than likely, he’ll end up getting tossed around like a ragdoll if the two find themselves clinched), so he’ll probably have to deal with Bones’ 84.5 inch reach for the majority of the fight.
I wouldn’t advise Jones to tie one arm behind his back, but it’s hard to see Sonnen getting past the jabs, elbows, and side-kicks to the thighs that will surely come his way.