Jones vs. Sonnen: Two Legacies Solidified with First-Round TKO
UFC 159 played home to one of the most highly-anticipated fights of the year, as Jon "Bones" Jones defended his light heavyweight title against Chael Sonnen. The much-hyped event ended when Jones took out Sonnen via TKO at the 4:33 mark of the first round.
As a result, two separate legacies have been solidified.
Jones controlled this fight from start to finish, gaining position with early takedowns and firing off shots from the clinch. Even as Sonnen managed to fight his way into a butterfly guard, Jones simply proved to be too powerful.
With heavy elbows raining down and Sonnen unable to do a thing but cover up, the fight was called.
After the fight, Jones was interviewed by UFC commentator Joe Rogan. During the interview, Rogan pointed out that Jones' big toe was severely broken.
Warning: Due to the graphic nature of the image, we will not provide it in this article. Instead, you can click here if you desire to see Jones' broken toe.
We must reiterate, the image is very graphic. Just ask the Twittersphere.
Oh no Jon Jones! Your foot! Oh no!— Andrea Hangst (@FBALL_Andrea) April 28, 2013
On to less disturbing topics.
Jones' win and Sonnen's loss have served as career-altering moments for both men involved. One has continued his path to greatness, while the other has turned a reputation into a legacy.
UFC 159 created career-defining results.
Chael Sonnen: The Hype Man's Last Hoorah?
Entering UFC 159, Chael Sonnen was viewed as one of the greatest villains in all of professional sports. From his microphone magic to his uncanny ability to touch on the subjects most view as out-of-bounds, Sonnen is a true character.
While the loss to Jon Jones hurts his legacy as a fighter, Sonnen has solidified his status as one of the most marketable men in MMA history.
There are better fighters and more beloved personalities. The fact of the matter is, Sonnen is the type of fighter that has as significant an impact on the UFC as any we've ever seen.
According to John Morgan of USA TODAY Sports, Jones described what Sonnen brings out of a fighter.
"I was just so happy to get past Chael Sonnen," said Jones (18-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC). "Chael Sonnen's an awesome opponent. We went through a lot of drama that motivated me a lot."
And that's the key.
Sonnen may not be a champion, but he's the charismatic force that gets under the skin of our greatest champions. Normally even-keel fighters such as Anderson Silva and Jon "Bones" Jones suddenly display a mean streak.
To put it simply, so many people want to see him get beat down that they're all tuning in for must-see action—it's an added benefit that Sonnen can get down when needed.
Sonnen, 36, has questions to answer in terms of how long he can fight in the UFC. With a record of 3-3 during his current stint with the company, there may also be concerns about how competitive he can be.
Per Morgan, Sonnen appears aware of his questionable future, but took a different route than one might expect while acknowledging such—the honorable route.
"I'm not going to be one of the guys to hang around. If there's not a road to the title, then this sport isn't for me. I believe that was probably my last opportunity."
If UFC president Dana White is looking for headlines and a marketable main event, Sonnen is the man to call—here's hoping that he remains in the industry.
Jon Jones: The Untouchable Champion
Until proven otherwise, Jon "Bones" Jones has elevated his name into the status of the untouchables. The 6'4" and 204-pound light heavyweight champion is now 12-1 during his UFC tenure, with his only loss coming by way of disqualification.
Perhaps most impressive of all, only one of Jones' fights has reached the fifth round.
By defeating Chael Sonnen via TKO during the first round, Jones extends his reign to five title defenses. That dates back to March 19, 2011, thus creating a reign of more than two years for the MMA superstar.
By reaching this plateau, there are only two fighters in the UFC to compare Jones to—active legends Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre.
Jones has a ways to go to match their legacy. St. Pierre has held the UFC Welterweight Championship since December 29, 2007 while Silva has been the UFC Middleweight champion since October 14, 2006.
With that being said, Jones is rapidly developing into one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in UFC history.
By defeating Sonnen, Jones made it clear that he is capable of the feats those before him achieved. It also became clear that, if an opponent is aiming to play mind games, Jones' mean streak is powerful enough to take down any opponent.
All that's left is a question—can anyone unseat Jones as champion?
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