Former UFC heavyweight/light-heavyweight champion, Randy Couture doesn’t think it’s wise to count Chael Sonnen out against Jon Jones.
“Chael Sonnen is going to bring it and hype up any fight he’s in… Chael has a great opportunity to win this fight actually,” Couture said during an appearance on MMA Uncensored Live. “Technically, I see him in a similar-style fight as Anderson Silva. If he wades through him and makes Jon Jones wrestle him the entire fight, I think he can win that.”
Sonnen is set to coach the 17th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” realty TV series opposite Jones, and the two will settle their differences inside the Octagon on April 27.
Even though I don’t like Chael’s chances against Jon, Randy Couture does make some valid points. If Sonnen — who has arguably the best takedowns in the UFC — is able to put Jones on his back consistently, “The American Gangster” will probably walk away with the decision.
Jones is a well-rounded fighter, but he isn’t known for his guard game. Jones decided to pull guard during the final seconds of his UFC 145 fight against Rashad Evans, and I wasn’t really impressed with what I saw. Evans landed a few solid shots from the top, and “Bones” might have found himself in serious trouble if he ended up on his back early in the round.
However, Jones can wrestle with the best wrestlers in MMA, and I can’t see Sonnen taking him to the ground consistently. Heck, even Evans wasn’t able to take Jones down once during their 25-minute encounter.
Jones has manhandled solid wrestlers like Matt Hamill and Ryan Bader in the past, so he should be able to do the same against Sonnen. Bones will get to decide if he wants to take Chael down and punish him with elbows, or force the Portland native to deal with his 85-inch reach.
Unless Sonnen pulls off a miraculous submission from guard as his BJJ coach Vinny Magalhães has suggested, I can’t see him ending Jones’ reign.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.