UFC 159: Jon Jones' Title Defense Won't Be Deterred by Chael Sonnen

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVApril 25, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 21:  Jon Jones (R) punches Rashad Evans during their light heavyweight title bout for UFC 145 at Philips Arena on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been on a tear through the UFC recently, and that won't change despite entering the ring against a very talented and pesky Chael Sonnen at UFC 159.

Jones and Sonnen were cast against each other as coaches on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter on FX, where they likely shared more reserved competition than what we'll see on Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. 

It's only fitting that they'd face off in an epic matchup that could go down in UFC lore after the finale, right?

Great programming, Dana White

Jones' reign over the UFC hasn't been forgotten in Las Vegas, as Sonnen comes in as a 17-to-1 underdog (via Yahoo! Sports), which makes this one of the biggest title bout mismatches in UFC history.

A huge reason for that is size, which always plays such a vital role in any fighting matchup. Jones has the upper edge there, with advantages of three inches in height and a whopping 10 inches of reach on Sonnen.

Sonnen has succeeded in ultimate fighting by out-hustling his opponents and wearing them down. However, he hasn't proven able to fight off his back thus far in his career, and that's where he'll end up plenty of times due to Jones' striking abilities.

We haven't seen anything from Sonnen that indicates he's done making crucial mental errors in bouts. In two appearances against the great Anderson Silva, Sonnen actually led The Spider before committing crucial decision-making lapses, leading to defeat.

Jones has all of Sonnen's best strengths, but excels at them even better, whether it's striking or forcing submissions. That's what will decide this matchup more than anything. 

One strength Jones will exploit more than anything should be elbows. His ability to hammer opponents on the ground with those massive blows should bloody Sonnen up quite a bit early.

If Sonnen has any dreams of winning this fight, he has to make the right decisions and not attack so relentlessly that he puts himself in defenseless positions.

It's hard to argue betting against Jones, no matter who he's fighting. Sonnen is still one of the best fighters in the world, and certainly deserving of a championship belt, but Jones just doesn't lose.

"The Gangster from West Lynn" will be hunting for the belt at UFC 159, but "Bones" will show why he's one of UFC's best ever fighters in another thrilling victory.


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