Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen: 5 Reasons Sonnen Can Upset Jones

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2012

Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen: 5 Reasons Sonnen Can Upset Jones

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    Like it or not, Chael Sonnen will be fighting Jon Jones in April of next year for the UFC light heavyweight championship.

    Now, whether Sonnen truly deserves the opportunity to fight for another title so recently removed from his loss to Anderson Silva is still up for debate.

    The issue at hand, barring unforeseen injuries, of course, is how Sonnen will stack up against Jones when the two lock horns in 2013.

    Here's five reasons why Sonnen can upset the undisputed champion and finally obtain ultimate UFC glory.

Persistent Wrestling

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    Chael Sonnen's wrestling abilities alone make him a dangerous fighter in the eyes of any man.

    His gritty ground game often envelops his opponent, turning any technical striking match into a truly one-sided pressure cooker.

    Sonnen has not only demonstrated this before by suffocating Anderson Silva for nearly five straight rounds at UFC 117, but he's been doing it his whole career.

    If the 35-year-old wants to stick around with the younger and considerably bigger Jon Jones, he'll surely look to take this fight to the ground.

    Once that happens, based on what Sonnen is capable of doing, all bets are off.

Unmatched Conditioning

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    As one of the most dedicated fighters in the world today, Chael Sonnen's conditioning more or less follows suit.

    He's able to train his body to react differently to exhaustion, pressure and pain than most fighters in the UFC.

    This enables Sonnen to fight at the same speed for five straight rounds.

    Jon Jones is no slouch when it comes to fighting at an elite level for an extended period of time, but he's never really been pushed to the brink.

    If the champion is unable to finish Sonnen before the fourth round, the challenger's ability to push the pace and grind his opponent down could be the difference-maker.

Psychological Superiority

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    Jon Jones has never faced an opponent with the mental fortitude that Chael Sonnen possesses.

    The closest guy was Rashad Evans, but that's like calling a mall security guard a decorated police detective.

    The bottom line is that Sonnen's self-created persona never fails to implant itself into his opponent's mind.

    It's like a bad dream that can't be shook.

    And considering the two fighters will be spending nearly every waking minute of their days together coaching on The Ultimate Fighter, Jones will find it nearly impossible to isolate himself from Sonnen's mental choke hold.

Underrated Jiu-Jitsu

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    Rarely is Chael Sonnen and jiu-jitsu mentioned in the same breathe.

    The two just don't belong together. Like lions and lambs.

    However, despite being submitted throughout his own career, Sonnen does in fact possess the skills to test Jon Jones' defense.

    Vitor Belfort nearly submitted Jones in the first round of their fight at UFC 152, but he couldn't get the champ to tap.

    It was a testament to Jones' ability to fight through pain and adversity, but it also revealed a weakness in his game.

    If Sonnen can control Jones by utilizing his elite wrestling, he could have a chance to snap one of those long limbs.

Focus and Determination

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    As one of the most controversial fighters in UFC history, Chael Sonnen desperately needs to prove himself.

    He needs to take the next step in transforming his career from rambling choke artist to historic genius.

    In just a matter of six months, Sonnen will once again have an opportunity to pull off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

    He'll once again have the chance to prove that he is a champion. No more trash talk, no more games, no more devastating losses.

    Sonnen needs a decisive victory over Jon Jones to validate his presence inside and outside of the Octagon.

    That means he'll be more focused and determined than ever before, making him the most dangerous type of fighter.

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