Chael Sonnen: Curtis Blaydes ‘easily the hardest fight’ for Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut

·2 min read

There are many names thrown out when thinking about Jon Jones’ pending heavyweight debut.

The most common seem to be former champion Stipe Miocic and recent title challenger Ciryl Gane. There’s a name that may not be as popular of an option, but Chael Sonnen finds him to be the toughest test for Jones outside of champion Francis Ngannou.

“I’ll tell you, the hardest fight, skill wise for Jon Jones, easily the hardest fight, it’s Curtis Blaydes,” Sonnen told Morning Kombat.

Sonnen, who fought Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title in 2013, doesn’t understand why Blaydes is not as popular of a choice for Jones. He thinks Blaydes is deserving of more credit.

“I’ve never really seen a guy as willing as him,” Sonnen said. “He goes and fights Ngannou before we knew it was Ngannou. He then wants to do it again, gets slept in 30 seconds, (but) he flies to him to a completely different  continent to do it again, and he’s begging to fight him a third time. Those are the kind of guys we usually like.”

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And while some have doubts on what Jones will be capable of doing in his heavyweight run, Sonnen thinks he’s still one of the best fighters in the world and expects him to become champion in his eventual move.

“Yes, doggone it he does (win a title), and probably two – he probably wins the interim and undisputed (heavyweight titles),” Sonnen said. “I’m largely going off rumos in the practice rooms, but campfire is really important. Henry Cejudo sees him. He’s in the practice room. He saw him with (Jiri) Prochazka, he saw him with these top guys, and Henry says he’s better now. That’s what he says.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie