UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has respect for Chael Sonnen.
It’s just on a different level than the respect he has for fighters such as Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort and Anderson Silva.
Jones and Sonnen were recently announced the next coaches for The Ultimate Fighter. They will square off in April, and Jones informed those on a conference call that – despite all the talk of Sonnen not being worthy of a title shot – it’s not really going to matter.
“He’s not even getting close to the belt. 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.”
Jones has earned four title defenses since claiming the belt from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. He’ll rehab his injured elbow while filming TUF, giving him time to be 100-percent for Sonnen.
“His ground-and-pound is very weak, he’s got no submission and he gets submitted all the time. When it comes to wrestling, if he gets me down, I don’t see any way for him to beat me. But I will train like a mad man because losing to Chael Sonnen is not an option.”
Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting