LONDON, ENGLAND, FEBRUARY 21, 2009: Chael Sonnen watches a replay of his fight at "UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson" inside the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London. - Copyright:Martin McNeil
Chael Sonnen is warming up to Jon Jones, who now admits that the "American Gangster" is deserving of his 205-pound title shot at UFC 159 even though he has not competed in the division since 2005. Yes, 2005 (inside the Octagon).
"I'm going to change my response and for the first time I'm going to say yes. I think Chael does deserve a shot at my title because he asked for it and he begged for it. He made it happen and I've definitely beaten pretty much everybody in my weight class and Chael said ‘let me give this guy a run' so I'm going to say yes, Chael you deserve it."
-- In case you haven't noticed, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and unlikely No. 1 division contender, Chael Sonnen, have been attached at the hip, tag-teaming a New York City-area media tour (listen to their Opie & Anthony spot here) to promote their joint mixed martial arts (MMA) "reality" television effort, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17. However, prior to their harmonious union on the FX set in Las Vegas, Nevada, the two traded frequent barbs through social media and other channels. Sonnen branded Jones a "talented kid" who would lose to the "manly" Dan Henderson at UFC 151 and then he'd "play clean up" afterward. Then, Henderson got hurt, "Bones" turned down a fight with Sonnen and UFC 151 was infamously canceled. The trash-talking floodgates opened shortly thereafter, with Sonnen naming a "loaded with chicken" pizza after Jones, to which he responded by calling the TRT-infused "American Gangster" a "cheater" and a "coward." It reportedly got so intense that Jones made a request to the UFC that it stop Sonnen from picking on him. Jones, like most MMA fans, didn't think Sonnen deserved the 205-pound opportunity; however, the UFC disagreed because Sonnen begged for it while others shrinked. With a few chummy weeks together, Jones is seemingly now drinking Sonnen's delicious Kool Aid, relenting on WFAN with Boomer and Carton that he is indeed worthy of the upcoming title shot. Kill 'em with kindness, Chael, you diabolical MMA mind manipulator. UFC 159, which takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on April 27, 2013, is still more than three months away and Sonnen, psychologically, seemingly has Jones right where he wants him. The bad news for him is that it is most likely going to take much more than mind games to upset a far more superior MMA talent like Jones on fight night. Right?