Former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen weighs in on Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 2.
The biggest MMA fight of 2017 is just two days away, as reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier rematches former champ Jon Jones, who never lost his belt in the cage and also is the only man to defeat Cormier in his entire MMA career. A win for Jones gets him his belt back, while a Cormier victory would even the score against his fierce rival, as well as further cement his own status as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
One former Jon Jones foe has his own take on the rematch, and it’s none other than current Bellator MMA star Chael Sonnen. Speaking to FloCombat, Sonnen picked Jones to once again defeat Cormier, citing the eight-year age gap and the clear victory Jon had in the first matchup back in January 2015.
“When a younger fighter beats an older fighter and then they rematch… the younger fighter wins again only easier,” Sonnen said. “That is the rule of fighting and holds true in boxing, wrestling or MMA. You would have to go back and search two decades to find a scenario where that didn’t happen.
“There is a meaningful gap in their ages, and their first fight wasn’t close. A lot of people forget that, but it was not close. I had it 5-0 to Jon Jones, and the official judges had it 4-1. It was not a competitive fight. It was fun, and Daniel tried, and by Jon Jones’ standards next to [Alexander] Gustafsson it was his closest fight, but he still won by a large margin. And to make believe that with age and time Daniel caught him somehow is a big leap.
This will be Jones’ first fight since his one-year suspension from USADA after testing positive for clomiphene and letrozole the week of his scheduled UFC 200 fight with Cormier. Sonnen did bring up the possibility that Jones’ performance could be negatively affected post-USADA violation.
“I think it also comes down to how bad was Jon Jones violating USADA?” he added. “The guys we’ve seen in the past that live that life come back, and they are different and are different for the worse. Jon says he didn’t do it. I think his body looks a little different, but at the same time, I bought a lot of his story. That’s really the question, and we’ll find out on Saturday night.”
UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2 takes place live at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on July 29th. The main card airs exclusively on pay-per-view.