At the rate he’s going, it’s easy to foresee another few years of dominance Jon Jones. But for observers like Chael Sonnen, time is winding down for Jones’ title reign.
Speaking to his very own “You’re Welcome” podcast, Sonnen is giving “Bones” at least three more years at the top.
“I don’t think he realizes how quick that clock is winding down,” Sonnen said (transcript by BJPenn.com). “He will not be the world champion at 35 years old. He absolutely will not be.
“He likely will not even be the main event or co-main event by 36 years old. By 37 years old, he will be fighting for his place in the sport. That’s just the way it goes.”
Sonnen sees younger fighters like Israel Adesanya as a possible threat for Jones. He also feels a trilogy bout against Daniel Cormier at heavyweight is the legacy-cementing fight to take.
“You now have Israel Adesanya, just by example, coming up. Israel Adesanya is going to be the one that grabs the torch and moves that organization [the UFC] forward, for sure,” he explained. “He will become the biggest star and the talk will quickly be that he is the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Jones is getting replaced.
“Over time he’s going to have to move weight class if he wants to be remembered,” Sonnen continued. “He needs to expand, he needs to show on some level that he can go out there and compete with (Daniel) Cormier clean.”
Jones nearly lost his title at UFC 239, when he received his first split decision verdict against Thiago Santos. As far as a third fight with Cormier goes, Jones already shut it down, expressing no intentions to move up in weight.