While co-hosting Tuesday’s new edition of FUEL TV’s “UFC Tonight,” Sonnen called UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) a “dork” and suggested beating “Bones” would be no more difficult than stealing his Halloween candy.
Today, Jones and his manager lashed back at the often-outspoken Sonnen and suggested the “idiot” should focus on his work as an analyst.
“The things you say about me hold absolutely no weight,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “You disrespected Anderson (Silva) and his country but fought like a child.
“If you’re going to disrespect me out of nowhere, at least disrespect me to my face like a man. And you call me a punk, I’m more man than you’ll ever be.”
It's hard to say that Jon Jones has a weakness at this point, but if you were going to focus on one aspect that could be, it would be mentally. We all know the Jones' family rise from a rough upbringing and the road that "Bones" has taken to the title at such a young age. It requires a tremendous amount of heart and focus.
But after his DUI troubles earlier this year and his flip-flopping during his feud with Rashad Evans, one has to wonder whether or not the young phenom is still able to keep that focus. Engaging in a battle of words with Chael this early in the game is questionable.
And that could be a slight problem for Sonnen’s goal of getting more than, he says, three fights a year, which is about what healthy UFC fighters average.
“It’s not about anything else – it’s about competition,” Sonnen said. “I hate the fact that we only fight three times a year. I hate the fact that I’ve got to go to bed at night wondering, ‘I wonder how I’d do with this guy, or what this guy’s skills would do with mine.’
“Well, let’s just find out. Let’s get in there a lot more often. Let’s fight all these guys.”
Sonnen said he understands why it can’t happen and doesn’t happen, but the Division I All-American wrestler from the University of Oregon longs for the days of the kind of competition that had him wrestling many opponents a day.
It's almost impossible to have more than three UFC fights under your belt in the course of a single year these days. The fact that Donald Cerrone was able to make five appearances in 2011, albeit a couple of times as a short-notice replacement, is amazing.
But with the amount of shows the UFC is now putting on, it's not impossible. Fans and fighters alike have recently been calling for a thinning out of the talent pool. The recent rash of injuries has obviously decimated the lineups for upcoming UFC shows, leaving ticket holders to look forward to matchups featuring a serious lack of star power since that is all the UFC can muster at the moment. If they started stacking the cards as in years past, problems and wishes would go away and be granted at the same time.
“When we did the press conference down in Brazil, Silva hadn’t even agreed to fight him,” White said. “That fight wasn’t happening. I had them bring Anderson to the place where the press conference was, and we sat in a room for three hours fighting about the fight.”
Fans may remember the April 24 news conference in Rio de Janeiro for its late start. And White said that late start was because he and his biggest star were at odds over Silva signing on for the rematch.
Silva, as should come as little surprise, is not a fan of the brashness and trash talk that led up to UFC 117, and the talk that Sonnen has continued for nearly two years since then. But when Sonnen got on the plane with White, he flew to Brazil with no guarantee of a fight – only the hope that White could get Silva to agree to the rematch.
“Yeah, (Chael knew),” White said. “He knew there was no fight. (What Chael said) was true, absolutely true. We went down there to make that fight. We set up a press conference, and I had to get it done.”
As interesting as that story is and was, I'd be even more intrigued to find out what the UFC's plans were for the press conference had Anderson not agreed to the bout. Would they have allowed Sonnen to call him out again in his home country? Or would Dana and Chael have just held a "state of the UFC" address?