UFC light-heavy weight champion Jon Jones sat down with FOX Sports 1 host and Jones’s last victim, Chael Sonnen, to discuss a number of different subjects, including his upcoming UFC 165 bout with Alexander Gustafsson.
The champ says of “The Mauler” that he’s a great fighter and one with many gifts, but at the same time he has some “big holes in his game” and that Jones and his team are looking forward to exploiting them in their bout.
However, when pushed to identify something that Gustafsson is better at than the champ, Jones matter-of-factly made note of the Mauler’s ability to circle and work angles. On this point, Jones believes Gustafsson is a “little bit better” than he is, but other than that he doesn’t see anything that the Mauler is better at.
Of particular note, Jones doesn’t believe that Gustafsson has great conditioning and as he’s never gone five rounds, Bones is looking forward to “putting him in those deep waters.”
Of course, nested within that answer is the assumption that Gustafsson will be able to make it into rounds four and five, or perhaps another way of putting it is that Jones won’t be able to finish Gustafsson within the first three. Regarding those remarks, one has to wonder if the champ is conceding a point, here and that is, that the fight is going to be more difficult than many are assuming.
Irrespective of how many rounds the fight goes, Jones appears to be his usual confident and relaxed self, and comes across a guy who hasn’t a care in the world. As such, he made lite with Sonnen on the subject of a re-match between himself and Chael, and in doing so commented:
“I really hope you don’t talk your way into another title fight, because I’ve actually lost a lot of sleep thinking about the possibility of being taking down by you and smothered, and all that stuff. So, please don’t. Just leave me alone, Chael.”
Beyond that, the two touched on the subject of Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier.
Regarding Henderson, Jones doesn’t believe that fight (Jones / Henderson) will ever happen and that given how Henderson’s career is going, that it’s only likely to happen in a parking lot.
In terms of Cormier, Jones doesn’t believe that he should be handed a title shot and that he has to earn it. More specifically, Jones doesn’t believe that Cormier should replace Glover Teixeira as the next in line. The champ stated that there was a lot of flak when Sonnen was given an un-warranted title shot and he doesn’t think it would be “fair” for that to happen again. As Jones put it:
“No. A lot of people gave (flak) when you got an immediate title shot and I don’t think it would be fair for anyone to see it again. Daniel Cormier, I think the ultimate way to defeat him is to make him lose weight, earn a title shot and at the end of the day walk out without the belt.”
As a great number of fans also believe title shots should be earned and that fighters shouldn’t be able to hype themselves into championship bouts, there are apt to be many fans that will agree with Jones on the issue; that if Cormier wants the fight, then he should drop the weight and beat one or two fighters ranked above the five spot, or at least beat division bad boy Chael Sonnen and one top five fighter. If he did that, then fans would not only welcome a Jones / Cormier match they’d be calling for it. However, to simply hand Cormier a fight with Jones, particularly if it came at the expense of Glover Teixeira, might be regarded as illegitimate by many fans and evidence of furthering disregard for the rankings, and a fighter having to earn his shots.