Chael Sonnen: 'Jon Jones Could Beat Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali in Same Day'

Jordy McElroy@ IApril 23, 2013

Jon Jones - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Jon Jones - Esther Lin/MMAFighting

Jon Jones still views himself as a hungry contender vying for all-time greatness, but in Chael Sonnen's eyes, records and accolades aren't needed to substantiate the fact that he is already the best light heavyweight in UFC history.

At UFC 159, Jones hopes to defend his title for a fifth consecutive time when he steps into the Octagon with Sonnen.

A win for Jones would help him surpass UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell and tie Tito Ortiz's record for most successful light heavyweight title defenses in UFC history.

Bleacher Report was on-hand at the UFC 159 media conference call, where Sonnen anointed Jones as the best in the world and the greatest light heavyweight the UFC has ever seen:

"When he says he wants to be the best ever, Jon, newsflash buddy, you are the best. As far as tying Tito Ortiz, maybe he had a couple more wins, but he hasn't had the competition that you've faced. I'm not going to try to degrade Jon. He's a world champion, he's the best in the weight class, and he's the best the weight class has ever seen."

Sonnen, who has never been one to shy away from his feelings, laid everything out in the open and praised Jones' abilities.

Many will likely mistake his show of affection as a sign of weakness or waving the white flag, in a sense. In reality, the only thing Sonnen is guilty of is honesty.

People have already chalked this fight up as a circus show featuring the world's biggest mouth against MMA's biggest and brightest prodigy. Sonnen is well aware of what he's up against. If he thought there was no chance of victory, he would have never asked for the fight.

As great as Jones is, Sonnen deeply believes he has the skills necessary to pull off the monumental upset. The buildup leading to the event bears an uncanny resemblance to Sonnen's bout against Anderson Silva at UFC 117.

When UFC President Dana White made the fight announcement, MMA fans all over the world lashed out in disapproval for a pay-per-view card being headed by such a lopsided title bout.

Sonnen shocked the world on fight night by dominating Silva for four rounds before getting caught in a triangle choke late in the final round.

Will history repeat itself at UFC 159?

If Jones has things his way, the only history occurring on Saturday night will be that of him tying Ortiz's record. As he continues to break records and achieve goals, Jones hopes to one day be considered along with the likes of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

Sonnen commends Jones for being respectful to the iconic boxing legends, but he still believes the young UFC champ doesn't realize his own talent:

"I don't think he understands how good he is. For him to pay tribute to Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali earlier was a very nice thing for him to do, but the reality is that Jon Jones could beat Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali in the same day."


All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report