If Chael Sonnen Beats Jon Jones at UFC 159, Daniel Cormier Says It’d Be Biggest Upset Ever

April 24, 2013
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Chael Sonnen at UFC 117Chael Sonnen is going to make light heavyweight champion Jon Jones uncomfortable during their fight at UFC 159 on Saturday in New Jersey, but if he wins the fight it will “hands down, without a doubt” be the biggest upset in UFC history.

At least in the opinion of UFC heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier it would be.

Cormier was a guest on UFC Tonight on Tuesday night, breaking down the fight. Like most pundits, he believes that Sonnen is facing a steep uphill battle.

“If Chael is going to beat Jon Jones, he’s going to have to beat him over the course of 25 minutes and dominate that fight,” said Cormier.

Sonnen did just that in his first fight with Anderson Silva, only he fell a couple minutes shy of the prerequisite 25 and got submitted.

Cormier said that Sonnen would likely employ a similar strategy against Jones, making it a tough fight for the champion, but expects him to fall short once again.

“Chael is going to make (Jones) fight in places where he’s not used to fighting,” Cormier stated. “I know Chael will take him down and is going to pressure him. Chael is going to make him uncomfortable by constantly going forward. Chael won’t make the mistake that many fighters make: backing up and circling. You cannot allow Jon Jones to be so comfortable going forward in the cage.”

At the end of the day, however, Sonnen won’t be able to take the gold from Jones. If he did, Cormier says no other upset in UFC history would compare to the feat.

“Hands down, without a doubt (it would be the biggest upset in UFC history). People talk about Matt Serra vs. Georges St-Pierre. Serra had great knockout power and he also had the submission threat,” said Cormier.

“Chael’s speeches are great. But Jon Jones is the man and is going to win this fight. But Chael, go out there, take him down and set the game plan and the way to beat Jon Jones for the rest of us!”

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  • myk

    I would assume the previous contenders who faced Jones lost as soon as they stepped in the ring. They had already beaten themselves. I’ll wager Chael is NOT that type of fighter! I like underdogs. Hope Chael pulls it off!

    • Jack Burton

      I wouldn’t say that, Jones beat many legitimate threats.

      Chael’s mind games work, we’ll see how it affects Jones in the ring.

      Machida came the closest to putting Jones in an uncomfortable situation. Problem is Machida wasn’t aggressive enough.

      Chael is typically relentless with his takedowns, which is something Jones isn’t used to. Most of his opponents have stayed more defensive and hesitated.

      I don’t see Chael winning by KO, but considering what he did to Silva, I could easily see him dominating Jones with takedowns and GnP to get a decision.

      • Phael Sonnen

        You act like Jones isn’t a wrestler, watch Jones take Chael down and batter him to a TKO win.

        • Jack Burton

          You act like Chael isn’t the better wrestler, he clearly is.

          • Chuckie the Super Clown

            Chael struggled to take down Michael Bisping. Do you honestly believe he’s going to be the first man ever to take down Jon Jones??

          • Sir_Roy

            Actually, that’s the only real point I disagree with you on here. First, I believe Bisping’s TTD is underrated. In fact, it may very well be his #1 strength (which admittedly may not be saying too much in and of itself).

            All fighters have sub par performances. Chael underperformed against Bisping with regards his wrestling. Sonnen stands a very good chance of taking Jones down. (Not that it will amount to much.) To say otherwise is to sell Sonnen short a tad IMHO.

      • Matty

        Easily see him beat Jones? Please stop posting you have know idea what you,re talking about. Sonnen is a 6 to 1 underdog for a reason. Jones will destroy him

        • Jack Burton

          You have no idea what you’re saying and apparently don’t know the record. They said the same thing when Chael fought Silva. That’s the whole damn point.

          Jones is terrified of losing to Sonnen, that is going to play in Sonnen’s favor.

          • Chuckie the Super Clown

            Jones is terrified of the idea of losing to Sonnen because it would be so embarrassing. Jones is better than Sonnen in every category. Jones has been rolling with big strong world-class MMA wrestlers and making them all look pathetic: Jake O’Brien, Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko, Ryan Bader, Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans. None have ever taken him down. Those that tried got reversed and slammed or taken down by Jones for their trouble.

            The last time Chael faced an elite 205 lbs MMA wrestler it was Babalu and Babalu outwrestled him. Jones is a lot better than Babalu ever was. It’s going to be fun to watch Chael sell out on his only chance to win and fail. It’ll look a lot like Matt Hamill vs Rampage Jackson did, but far worse. RIP Chael P Sonnen.

      • Sir_Roy

        Silva and Jones are two completely different creatures. Silva’s wrestling and TDD does not compare. Jones is also a wrestler and physically a bigger man than Anderson.

        Really, Chael’s wrestling being effective against Silva is to be somewhat expected. Jones is a far, far different creature altogether.

      • Collideoverme

        Machida was doing well, but his tendency to go backwards instead of forwards kills him now. Most fighters have him figured out.
        He’s definitely not aggressive enough since Shogum KO’d him.

    • myk

      In j Jones past few fights, no one has done jack against him… They’ve all been too timid, afraid of the reach/record… He’s never been taken out of his comfort zone. And I say that as a slam to his opponents! Hopefully Chael will pull a UFC117 and just go for broke! He’ll be the first.

  • Timothy Malone

    Serra over GSP would still be the bigger upset in my opinion. I understand the argument of the Serra win being a “fluke” strike that anyone might be able to get while a Sonnen decision would take an impressive 25 minutes, but still Sonnen is a former contender who has beaten top 10 opponents. Serra had done absolutely nothing in his career prior to that win over GSP.

    • Jack Burton

      I agree, Chael is better than Serra on skill alone, not considering the size difference.

      Serra KO’ing GSP was the biggest upset ever.

      Chael has a legitimate chance against Jones, it’s not even close to Serra and GSP.

      Now if Chael had KO’d Silva with that spinning backfist, which is probably what he was going for, just a crazy chance shot, which backfired on him, I would have called that the biggest upset ever. He’s not going to try that against Jones.

      • Sir_Roy

        Chael is a better wrestler than Serra. Serra’s BJJ is better and his punching power is better.

        Chael wins by virtue of his wrestling pedigree alone. Making him a more successful MMA fighter than Serra. But not all round more skilled by any means.

        • Jack Burton

          When you look at Jones’ style and how he wins, he wins by keeping people at the end of his long reach, and that won’t happen with Sonnen. Sonnen actually has one of the best chances to beat Jones because Sonnen will stay on him.

          • Chuckie the Super Clown

            I strongly recommend that you go back and look at Jones’ fights. Jones is a “damned if you don’t, damned if you do” specialist. Stay at a distance, he picks you apart. Close the distance and he takes you for a ride, most often slamming you to the canvas. Hamill, Vera, Vladi, Bonnar and others have tried closing the distance on Jones. it didn’t go well for any of them.

          • Alan

            I’ve been watching Jones fight since the very start, and using his reach is the most recent development in his career. He’s been smashing people with his wrestling and ground-and-pound for a lot longer than he’s been kickboxing with them.

            My prediction for this fight? Jones by triangle from the bottom.

    • Sir_Roy

      He’s saying more than that though. He’s saying Serra has the tools to finish and therefore the likelihood of an upset over GSP is greater than Chael upsetting Jones as a result. Chael does not have the tools to finish a fight in his arsenal to the extent Serra did at the time.

      I don’t necessarily disagree with Cormier on this one.

      Chael is a more successful MMA fighter than Serra due to his wrestling and overall style. That is all. He grinds out wins. He doesn’t have knockout power (Serra definitely does) nor is his BJJ anywhere near Serra’s level. Both are tools needed to finish fights. BJJ is Chael’s Achilles heel actually as Chael is prone to losing via submission.

      Serra having a puncher’s chance against GSP is more likely and less of an upset than Chael grinding out 5 rounds against Jones – who has a wrestling background of his own, couple with a great and unorthodox submission game. Chael is actually in a world of danger entering into the arena wherein he has the only chance at winning. He is, in a word, screwed.

      I see Jones choking Chael out.

      • Maddawgmar

        But I feel Chael has the ability to out wrestle Jon Jones. He is a better all around wrestler. So it is feasible for Chael to pull up the upset. No one expected Serra to KO GSP.

        • Sir_Roy

          Jon Jones also comes from a wrestling background. He’s bigger and stronger than Chael as well – which goes a ways in abridging any gap Chael’s wrestling pedigree might have allotted him.

          Not to mention, what the hell is Chael going to do to Jones if he takes him down? Jones’ submission game is so far above Chael’s it’s not even worth discussing. Chael cannot hold the bigger, stronger, more skilled Jone’s down while keeping busy enough to actually win 3 out of 5 rounds.

          As to Serra KOing GSP … anyone with KO power in their fists can KO anyone else. Serra has KO power. He was known for such. So yeah, Serra hitting GSP right on the button, while unlikely, is still more likely than Chael holding Jones down for 25 minutes. Think about it.

          • Collideoverme

            Everyone who has fought Chael on the ground talks about how “another level” his wrestling is. Don’t forget, Jones doesn’t have one punch KO power either. Jones also has a tendency to tire in the later rounds, Chael does not. That needs to be his game plan for Chael to win. Get him down if he can, take him to deep water, and grind out the win, and he has to fight smart. I am sure he is aware of Jones subs. Does that usually help him…no, lol. But if Chael fights smart, it will be a long fight.

          • Sir_Roy

            Can’t think of a single fighter Chael has fought who is as big and as strong as Jones. Has Chael so overwhelmed a bigger, stronger bloke with a wrestling background as well? We’re going to get our answer soon enough I suppose.

          • Chuckie the Super Clown

            Chael did fight a lesser version of Jon Jones when he fought Babalu. Babalu absolutely schooled Chael in the wrestling department before submitting him. Being dominant MMA wrestler at 185 lbs vs being dominant MMA wrestler at 205 lbs is FAR from being the same thing.

          • Collideoverme

            I do agree.I think Jones’ reach is going to be the problem unless Chael repeatedly tries to Lou Theiz him, lol! I would love to see Chael win, but do I think he will? No.

      • Jack Burton

        “Chael does not have the tools to finish a fight in his arsenal to the extent Serra did at the time.”

        Nonsense, look at their records. Chael 7 knockouts, Serra 2 knockouts.

        • Chuckie the Super Clown

          Serra KO’d Frank Trigg & GSP.

          Sonnen has KO’d Justin Hawes, Justin Bailey, Tim Williams, Amar Suloev, Kyacey Uscola, Tim Credeur.

          Serra knocked out guys who were top contenders or champions. Sonnen KO’d a bunch of nobodies. Sonnen has never KO’d a top 10 fighter.

          • atworkforu

            Serra TKO’ed GSP, that’s what was astounding. Serra beat Trigg long after he was relevant – five and a half years after his last UFC win.

    • Chuckie The Super Clown

      Sonnen has beaten top 10 fighters in the wrong weight class. Would Bisping, Miller, Okami and Stann be top 10 at LHW? No, not by a long shot. Serra at least went thru TUF at WW and beat Chris Lytle at WW and was actually fighting at the right weight before challenging for the title. Moving up 20 lbs and jumping straight to a title shot is insane no matter how you look at it. Actually beating the most dominant champ in LHW history would probably surpass Serra’s win over GSP.

  • BoyFan

    This fight being labeled as a potential “Biggest upset ever”, goes to show you how pointless it really is.

    Unless of course JBJ does lose then they can fight two more times and make three times the money!!! UFC is a joke.

  • Adam K Vogt

    I personally do not see any way for Chael to win this fight. Jones’ take down defense is simply too good. Although I agree Chael will not enter the Octagon intimidated as many other fighters have been, he simply doesn’t have the skill set or size to upset Jones. Bones by tko within 10 minutes.

    • Sir_Roy

      I say he chokes him out. Sonnen sucks at submission defense and has yet to learn how to adequately protect his neck (a wrestler’s weakness upon entering the MMA arena).

      • Chuckie the Super Clown

        Subbing Sonnen is the easier road. Jones seems to like to do things nobody has done before like subbing Machida, Rampage and Belfort or KO’ing Vera and Shogun. Jon Jones breaks opponents. After they are broken, he gets to decide how he finishes them. Sloppy seconds or thirds no matter which way he goes, but KO’ing Sonnen is at least the path less taken. I think Jones will GnP elbow him in the head until the the ref stops it or Sonnen goes unconscious.

        Sonnen winning would be bad for the sport anyways. Losing a title fight and then moving up 20 lbs for an immediate title fight should never happen. Sonnen winning would lead to the UFC continuing with such stupidity.

  • Forrest over shogun

  • Being defeated by a high level wrestler like Chael Sonnen is not an upset. Look what the guy has accomplished in his wrestling career and the guys he has fought in his pro MMA career. What is Cormier talking about?

    • Jack Burton

      It will definitely be an upset, considering the betting odds and what Jones has done, however it’s not that much of a long shot. That’s why the Jackson camp told him not to fight Chael on short notice.

      • I’m really hoping for a competitive match. The main thing I like about this fight is the fact that Chael will come forward and when he’s on top he’s active with his top control with the pace he sets.

  • Derek Lemaster

    Chael has a good chance here based on toughness. His boxing looked great in the first Silva fight. Straight forward 1-2’s dropped him repeatedly. Who’s ever done that to Anderson? Gonna be a great fight because Chael wont have to cut much weight and should be fresh and strong. I dont think it will be biggest upset ever, Serra still holds that one, but Jones will be certainly tested.

    • Collideoverme

      Chael also has 5 rd cardio. Jones slows down a bit. As much as I would absolutely love to see Chael win, if he starts getting over confident during this, it’s over. Jones will finish him.

  • Marc Livingood

    I predict Danial will be brutally knocked out in his next ufc fight Mir is done but he hurt him with kicks to the body but never followed up because Mir’s brain is short circuited or something. How do you not know that a wrestler is going to push you against the fence?

    • Collideoverme

      I don’t he’ll be ko’d in his next fight, but the rest of your statement is true. Mir is done, and won’t be anything but a mid carder fighting lower tier fighters now.

  • Collideoverme

    Chael’s going to use the same tactic he used in the Silva fights. Take downs and gnp. I hope he tries to think outside the box a bit, though. Jones isn’t as fast or as slick as Silva, and he doesn’t have the one punch KO power that Silva has, but if Jones reverses anything, or throws up a knee during one of Sonnen’s takedown attempts, he might lose this one early. Chael needs to fight smarter. I’d love to see him win this.

  • @jtodd

    I respect Chael as a fighter but his mouth gets on my nerves. He has no real shot of beating Jones. I think Jones will beat him in the second or third round. Jones is a pro in and out of the Octagon and he lets his skills and abilities speak as a champion. Chael did a amazing job with Sylva and had he not been submitted he won all 4 rounds prior to 5… It will be a fight never the less and one I am waiting to see.

  • Stop comparing with the first Silva-Sonnen fight. That fight doesn’t count. Even if Sonnen had won, they would have striped of the title and declare the fight no contest.

  • Joe

    Does Chael Deserve a shot at the 205 title? Hell no, and there lies the problem. Chael has the ability to beat anyone who doesn’t take him seriously. Look at the difference between the first and second Silva fight, The first one Silva didn’t take serious enough because he felt Chael did not belong in the ring with him, the second fight he did and look at the difference. If Bones doesn’t take Chael serious because he believes that he doesn’t deserve to fight him then Chael walks away with the title, If Bones considers him a legit threat and takes this fight just as serious as any other fight then he wins by total destruction.

  • adam

    Cormier is supposedly an ex olympic wrestler….so where were those skills with the fight last wknd witht his lame ass15 minute hugging display on frank against the cage…..get some real wins over real talent other than a decision and then comment on the guy who eventually make u his bitch when u drop 40 lbs!

  • almxx

    I think the only way to beat Jones, is to kick his inside knees and also his arms. Those extra long legs and arms are his biggest plus in addition to great talent.

  • atworkforu

    I’m not sure if GSP – Serra is the biggest ever, but its the first one that pops to mind. Certainly it’s bigger then Chael over Jones.

  • mir fan

    cormier needs to stfu. if mir was in his prime wouldve been differnt outcome.


    I know they say every “fighter has a chance” …. Chael has No chance against Jones, none, it is literally impossible, same as Shamrock vs Tito back in the day, or Tito vs Chuck & Randy,,, he is a great talker, good at 185, but at 205, he has zero chance of success, yet alone beat Jones

  • dab2rew

    Chael will be the only fighter to get inside jones reach bet on that! Chael is not scared to get inside that reach. that is something jones is not use too! That may effect jones if chael does get inside. Chael is not afraid to get inside either! If and only if chael wins yes that would be a big upset that will go down in ufc history books in my opnion! Silva is a great fighter no doubt! Jones is a good fighter and so is chael. Let’s not forget chael did dominate silva in both fights and in many of those rounds! Chael never turned down a fight either hence jones did that resulted in a cancelled ppv! But we will get the answer tonight! Just have to watch and wait!

  • Sergio

    A huge part of me is hoping for this upset. As I was leaving my office at DISH last night, I was telling one of my coworkers about how close Sonnen came to winning against Silva, and it’s because of that that I believe an upset could happen. If Sonnen does win, I’ll be so happy that I have it saved on my DISH Hopper. It can hold up to 1,250 SD or 450 HD hours of whatever I record, so I can continue to save all the big fights along with full series of my favorite shows without deleting anything.