A few days ago it was revealed by UFC president Dana White that in a conversation he had with Jones, the champion confided in him that he was done with the pre-fight banter because at this point he just wanted to hurt Sonnen in the cage. It wasn't about winning, it wasn't about a title defense—it was about hurting his opponent and that was the first time White can remember Jones ever saying that before a fight.
On Monday, Jones admits saying the comment but didn't want to expand out any further other than to say despite his desire to apparently hurt Sonnen, he's not letting emotions get the better of him.
"I don't really want to talk about the comment. It's something that I said, but my emotions aren't like overly involved," Jones told Bleacher Report. "I studied Chael a lot, I've studied his interviews, I've studied his personality. He's being himself. I'm comfortable with him. I've familiarized myself with who he is and what he needs to do and what he tries to be.
"When I get in that fight I never fight over aggressively. I always stay calm and relaxed and composed. That's what it will be. No matter what I say before a fight, no matter what my opponent says. No matter if I appear to let someone in my head, which I enjoy doing, that's what the project is—it's a huge focus I have where he should be in my head. When it comes fight night it's relaxation, it's beauty, it's peace, it's martial arts. It's what God put me on this planet to do."
When the question about Sonnen's wrestling pedigree came up during the call, Jones responded in kind with a few more comments aimed at the former middleweight contender. Jones actually directed his soliloquy at anyone who questions how his wrestling matches up with the top grapplers in the light heavyweight division.
"I don't think no one respects my wrestling at all. No one respects it at all," Jones stated. "I have a lot of pride going into this fight and maybe I'll take him down more than he'll take me down. You never know. I'm excited to go out there and prove my critics wrong again about me being this inferior wrestler. I don't think people give my junior college accolades respect. I'm going to earn respect in this fight.
"I have great takedowns and I'm excited to see what he has learned off of his back. Even the ground and pound—Chael doesn't really damage anyone with his ground and pound. Anderson's (Silva) face was fine, all of his opponent's faces were fine. I think Bryan Baker is the only guy he made bleed with his ground and pound. Everyone that I take down I cut them open right away. I don't think anyone respects my grappling, my ground and pound, or my wrestling. I'm excited to go out there and show people I do."
Jones' demeanor appeared to be aimed at bigger goals than just besting Sonnen at UFC 159. He wants to break the record for the most title defenses ever at 205 pounds and with a win on Saturday he will tie that very accomplishment.
Former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz currently holds the record with five title defenses. Jones goes for his fifth in a row when facing Sonnen.
"This fight with Chael, it ties me with Tito Ortiz," Jones responded when asked by Bleacher Report what this bout does for his legacy.
As far as his future plans go, Jones has some thoughts on that as well. If everything goes to plan and he dispatches of Sonnen on Saturday night, Jones hopes to break Ortiz's record later this year and stand alone as the best light heavyweight in UFC history.
After that is accomplished then Jones will start thinking about a move to heavyweight or potential superfights that could exist for him in the UFC.
"One thing I've been contemplating is tying Tito Ortiz and then establishing that record of the most wins in my next fight, maybe in November," Jones said. "Then after that fight in November entertaining superfights and heavyweight fights."
Jones didn't elaborate beyond that statement about whom he'd like to fight at either heavyweight or in any kind of superfight situation, but the options are there for the taking. He will first look to get Sonnen off his radar once and for all at UFC 159 before looking to conquer even bigger goals later this year.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!