If Chael Sonnen gets taken down by Jon Jones, he could be in a world of hurt.
The UFC light heavyweight champion feels like people are underestimating his grappling chances against Sonnen, a former NCAA All-American and Olympic alternate on the U.S. wrestling team.
"Chael Sonnen is a pretty good wrestler, but the guy was an Olympic alternate. He wasn't actually on the team. No disrespect to any other alternates, but I don't really consider Chael to be a Cael Sanderson or a legit wrestler," Jones said during a media conference call.
"Maybe he will get me down, and if he does, so what? His ground-and-pound is very weak, and he gets submitted from the top position all the time. I think I have a very solid jiu-jitsu game off my back, and I'm never able to display it. I freaking love wrestling, so I'll be preparing to use my takedowns against him, but if he does get me down, I won't feel any threat off my back against Chael."
While Sonnen has proven to be one of the best wrestlers in MMA, he has struggled over the years in defending submissions.
His UFC 117 submission loss to Anderson Silva stands out most.
After controlling the first four rounds, Silva submitted Sonnen in the final round with less than two minutes left in the fight.
In 12 losses, the self-proclaimed "Oregon Gangster" has been submitted eight times in his professional career, which really doesn't mean much when assessing a matchup against Jones.
Fans have yet to see the young champ forced to fend from his back. If Sonnen manages to get the fight to the ground, he could possibly exploit some new holes in Jones' seemingly flawless game.
Unfortunately for Sonnen, against Jones it will be like breaking into Fort Knox when searching for openings to secure a takedown.
Jones, who is a world class wrestler in his own right, will enjoy a massive reach and striking advantage. There is a strong possibility he changes levels and attempts to take Sonnen down. From top, Jones has some of the most lethal ground-and-pound in the history of the sport.
When fighters get trapped underneath Jones, it doesn't take long before the Octagon resembles a CSI crime scene. From the media conference call, Jones continued:
"I know for a fact that if I get him down, his face is probably going to open up. I just think that when it comes to wrestling, I have nothing to worry about. I really don't see any way for Chael to win this fight, but I'm still going to train like a madman, because losing to Chael is not an option. I'm going to treat him like he's the biggest opponent I've ever had."
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