Since the announcement was made that Chael Sonnen was going to challenge Jon Jones for Jones’ UFC light heavyweight title, the mixed martial arts universe has been debating the validity of that fight booking.
On the one hand, you have those that say the fight makes no sense, as Sonnen has not fought at light heavyweight since losing to Renato Sobral in October 2005.
On the other side of the argument, you have those that say the fight makes perfect sense as a business decision.
In addition to the fans and pundits that have offered their take on the fight, many fighters have voiced their opinions as well.
The latest being heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.
When talking about the Sonnen versus Jones matchup, Dos Santos, who will defend his title against Cain Velasquez at UFC 155, told Brazilian radio station Beat 98 (h/t to Fighters Only), “It's kind of out of order. Nowadays, the UFC is prioritizing those fights which will sell well. A prime example of this was Chael Sonnen, who sold his fight very well.”
There’s no denying that many share Dos Santos’ opinion on that fight. But in the next breath, the heavyweight champ, in a somewhat puzzling statement, painted former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem with the same brush saying that, “Overeem has followed the same path.”
Has Alistair Overeem earned his title shot?
Perhaps Dos Santos is sour that UFC president Dana White has said that when Overeem’s suspension wraps up, he may be first in line to face the winner of the December 29 bout between Dos Santos and Velasquez.
Or maybe it’s the fact that Dos Santos doesn't like Overeem that had him sounding off on the 36-11,-0-1 fighter. Whatever the reason, Dos Santos was a bit out of line in his assessment of Overeem.
Since winning the Strikeforce heavyweight title in November 2007, Overeem has gone 10-0,-0-1 with only one of those fights leaving the first round.
In his last bout (his UFC debut), Overeem sent former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar into retirement after earning the TKO win over Lesnar at UFC 141. These are hardly the credentials of a man that talked his way into a title fight.
To add to the argument that Dos Santos’ comparison is out of line, one need only take a glance at the many different MMA rankings. Slmost every website that offers rankings has Overeem in the top three or four in the division.
Even more puzzling is the fact that back in August, the talk was that Dos Santos wanted to face Overeem instead of Velasquez, as Dana White relayed in the following exchange that took place following UFC on FOX 4 in August:
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but for Dos Santos to lump Overeem and Sonnen together is off the mark. Especially when just a few short months ago, he was the one calling out Overeem.