• TUF 17

Jones: Sonnen's talent is all in his mouth

ESPN staff
October 18, 2012 « Sonnen: Jon Jones is the best, but he needs me | Chartbeat test »

Jon Jones is ready to stand toe-to-toe with Chael Sonnen inside and outside of the Octagon, telling his TUF 17 rival on Wednesday that his talent is in his mouth, not what he produces when he fights.

Jones and Sonnen will coach opposite each other in the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, before competing for the UFC light-heavyweight title in April.

The fight has already attracted criticism, due to Sonnen's 6-5 UFC record, as well as the fact he is coming off a loss. He is also heading directly into a title bout without a warm-up fight at 205lbs, but Jones told fans to forget about the title.

"Just two months ago I had the whole world calling me a sissy and a wuss and saying that I'm afraid of Chael Sonnen, and even my own fans in my hometown questioned why I wouldn't fight him," Jones said.

"And it seems like a lot of people have jumped on this train of Chael not deserving a title shot, but they jumped on that train a little too late. I think I'm over the fact of whether he deserves it or not, and I'm getting more realistic with the fact that the fans really want it. And without the fans, who are any of us?"

It is felt, by Dan Henderson as well as many others, that Sonnen has only been picked for the role because he will make for good TV. Jones agrees.

"Chael's an interesting guy. I respect some things about him, like the way he goes out there and gets what he wants, everything except for a world championship or any championships. So he's a good talker, he's definitely good for the sport in some ways.

"He's extremely disrespectful and not much of a championship level athlete at all, but he has his qualities, and most of his qualities are gonna come to light when he retires and when he's able to do his TV shows and commentating and things like that.

"But right now I feel as if I'm doing a lot of people in the sport a favour and I'm doing Chael a favour by showing him what his true calling is, and that's using that gift of gab, not athletic talent."

Sonnen's strength, and arguably his only route to victory, will be his wrestling, but Jones is far from worried about that side of the fight.

"Sonnen wasn't a real Olympian, he was a freakin' alternate. I don't care if he takes me down. When it comes to wrestling he has nothing for me. If he takes me down so what? I'm good on my back, and Chael is submitted from the top all of the time."

The champ also had a dig at Sonnen's need for Testosterone Replacement Therapy, caused by Hypogonadism. In Jones' eyes, it is an unnatural way to stay at the top of the fight game.

"I think TRT is terrible. Everyone would hate me if I did it. It's not right that Chael gets to take it and feel like a 20-something athlete again."

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