Earlier in the week, I wrote an article breaking down the X’s and O’s of how Chael Sonnen could pull off an upset. However, in this article, I want to focus only on the persona of Chael Sonnen. Sonnen has spouted off vague reasons why he can beat Jon Jones in the lead up too this fight.
At first glance, this seems similar to Sonnen’s quotations leading up to the Anderson Silva fight. There is a subtle difference though. In the lead-up to the Silva fight, Sonnen gave concrete reasons that fans could latch on to as to why he could beat Silva. He told fans that he would get in Silva’s face, take him down, and beat him up. In fans’ minds, this seemed like a logical way to beat Silva. At the time, Silva’s opponents (Maia, Leites) refused to engage him so it was refreshing to hear that Sonnen would not be afraid to take on Silva.
On the other hand, the only reason we have heard as to why Sonnen thinks he will beat Jones this time around is…. Well there haven’t really been any. He has relied on “I’m the best in the world,” shtick and as a result, I don’t even know if Chael Sonnen thinks he can beat Jon Jones. Though he has talked his way into his title shot with Jones, I don’t think he ever had a magic gameplan to beat Jones like he did with Silva. See, Sonnen is an extremely smart fighter. He saw a weakness in Silva’s game and knew he had the skills to exploit it. He took Silva down at will in the first fight until he was submitted. He took Silva down in the first round of their second match and mounted him. It wasn’t until he attempted at stupid spinning backfist that Silva jumped on him and ended the fight.
The point is he told us exactly what he was going to do leading up to the Silva fight. So far, Sonnen has told us nothing about what he is going to do to Jones. All Sonnen has done is tell us how good he thinks Jones is. I think the few who believe Sonnen will win are being fooled by Sonnen himself. I don’t think he even believes he can win.
Photo Credit – Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Sports