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Chael Sonnen: “Jon Jones is the Best Fighter I’ve Ever Fought”

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Chael Sonnen: “Jon Jones is the Best Fighter I’ve Ever Fought”
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Chael Sonnen: “Jon Jones is the Best Fighter I’ve Ever Fought”

Chael Sonnen says Jon Jones is the best fighter he’s ever fought.

There are three fighters that have fought both UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva: Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Stephan Bonnar.

Bonnar is the least relevant in comparison to the other two because he faced Jones in Jones’ second fight in the UFC in January 2009. He took the future champ to a decision.  He faced Silva in October 2012 and Silva dismantled him inside the first round.

Belfort was finished by Silva in the first round at UFC 126 by front kick to the face.  Jones submitted Belfort in the fourth round of their UFC 152 match-up.

Sonnen took Silva down at will when they first met at UFC 117 in August 2010, but Silva was able to pull off a come-from-behind submission victory in the fifth and final round. In the rematch at UFC 148, Sonnen was able to take Silva down in the first round, but was finished by a barrage of strikes in the second after he slipped attempting to land a spinning back elbow.

Jones easily finished Sonnen late in the first round of their UFC 159 bout in a one-sided main event.

So who is better?  Sonnen says Jones.

“He’s a lot better than I thought he was.  To beat a guy is one thing.  To beat a guy at his own game is a whole another,” said Sonnen during the UFC 159 post-fight press conference.  “He’s the best fighter I’ve ever fought.”

And Jones may very well be the toughest fight of Sonnen’s career, but a Silva vs. Jones bout is a drastically different stylistic match up.

“It’s tough, and the last thing I want to do is disparage Anderson Silva.  It’s tough for me.  I whipped him for 30 minutes.  He whipped me for less than 30 seconds.  I whipped Jon for zero seconds, and he whipped me for the entire fight.  It’s just tough.  If you’re asking me for my opinion, Jon’s better,” said Sonnen.

Silva is scheduled to face Chris Weidman on July 6 in the main event of UFC 162 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  If Silva can get past the undefeated Weidman, a superfight with Jones seems likely.  When that happens, and only then, will we truly know whom the better fighter is.

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