Chael Sonnen: Jon Jones Is 'The Best Talent Our Sport Has Ever Seen'

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IFebruary 10, 2013

TUALATIN, OR - JUNE 26:  Chael Sonnen prepares to conduct a workout at the Team Quest gym on June 26, 2012 in Tualatin, Oregon.  Sonnen will fight Anderson Silva July 7, 2012 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Two-time UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen hasn't been afraid to toss insults at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the past, but lately, he's singing a different tune. 

In a recent appearance on FOX Sports Radio (transcription via MMA Mania), "The American Gangster" offered high praise for "Bones," saying he is a class above UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva. 

"I think there's a big gap between them," Sonnen said. "I think that Jon Jones is considerably better, I think he's the best talent our sport has ever seen."

Sonnen fought Silva at UFC 117 in August 2010 and UFC 148 in July 2012, respectively, coming up short in his title bid on both occasions.

However, his unique and entertaining brand of trash talk, along with the fact that no other contenders stepped up, earned "Uncle Chael" a showdown with Jones at UFC 159 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

While "The Spider" is well-known for his innovative stand-up game and highlight-reel knockouts, Sonnen made it clear that he is more impressed with Jones' offensive skills. 

"Jon comes out there with something new every time," he said. "Some trick that it appears he's making up. Stuff I've never seen."

Despite the high praise for the champion, the former two-time All-American collegiate wrestler assured the fans he is going to hit Jones with everything he has.

"I am 100 percent offense and from the second the referee says, ‘Go.' I will. I will come across and I will bring the fight to him," Sonnen said. "I may go down, he's a good fighter I may go down, but I promise you I will go like a gangster and I will be firing the entire time." 

In the first installment of the UFC's official rankings, Silva is ranked No. 1 and Jones is ranked No. 2. 

Is Sonnen crazy to believe that Jones is a hands-down better fighter than Silva at this stage in their careers?