Jon Jones: "This is about putting Chael Sonnen into irrelevancy"Posted on October 18, 2012, 03:57 AM by Andreas Hale
It's no secret that Jon Jones felt that Chael Sonnen did not deserve a shot at his light heavyweight title. Hell, UFC 151 was cancelled because of his reluctance to face Sonnen (although he blames the timing more than the opponent). Nevertheless, something changed over the past month that made Jones warm up to the idea that facing Sonnen isn't such a bad idea.
"It wasn't the money, it really just had to do with getting over this chapter of my career," Jones said on a conference call discussing the upcoming season of TUF and the subsequent showdown between he and Sonnen. "I wanted to move on and do great things. UFC 151 was a tough moment for me. Beating Sonnen would give closure to the Chael Sonnen invasion of my career."
Sonnen has become a pesky thorn in Jones' side. However, the fact that Sonnen has had the balls to call out Jones when fighters like Lyoto Machida opted to back down resonated with Jones. "He's an interesting guy," Jones said in regards to his TUF counterpart. "I respect some things about him. He goes to get what he wants...except world championships. He's good for the sport in some ways."
Some of those ways have to do with Chael's ability to promote a fight. If it weren't for his gift of gab, there likely wouldn't have been as much public interest in a Jon Jones fight to begin with. Despite the fact that he hasn't fought a top contender at 205, Sonnen has been steadfast in calling out Jones on social media to the point where fans began to ask for the fight. But Jones still doesn't believe that Sonnen deserves a shot at his title. Instead, this is about silencing the naysayers that believed that "Bones" actually feared Sonnen.
“This has nothing to do with the belt in my mind. He’s not even getting close to the belt," Jones explains. "This is about me taking care of Chael Sonnen. I respect some of the things he does for the sport, but he’s not a championship level athlete. I’m doing the sport a favor – and I’m doing Chael a favor – beating him and sending him to his true calling as a commentator doing TV shows. His ground and pound is very weak, he’s got no submission and he gets submitted all the time. When it comes to his wrestling, if he gets me down I don’t see any way for him to beat me. But I will train like a madman because losing to Chael Sonnen is not an option.
"This is more about putting Chael into irrelevancy."