Despite the fact he has yet to share the cage with him, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight No. 1 contender, Chael Sonnen, believes reigning 205-pound champ Jon Jones is a "considerably better" mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter than the UFC's middleweight champion, Anderson Silva.
Sonnen (27-12-1), who has fought Silva twice in the past and is scheduled to fight "Bones" in April, views his future counterpart and opposing coach on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show as an anomaly in the sport. And while Silva is extremely talented in his own right, Sonnen simply believes Jones is a level above.
"I think there's a big gap between them," Sonnen said in an interview with Jay Mohr on FOX Sports Radio. "I think that Jon Jones is considerably better, I think he's the best talent our sport has ever seen."
Silva and Jones are ranked No. 1 and 2 in the UFC's official pound-for-pound rankings, meaning they considered the top two fighters in the world at any weight class.
Silva (33-4) is undefeated under the UFC banner in his 16 fights with the organization, and holds essentially every major record from consecutive wins to most title defense to knockdowns scored in a fight.
Jones (17-1), who is roughly 12 years Silva's junior, has not been in the sport for nearly as long as the Brazilian, but has already made some significant accomplishments in his own right, such as becoming the youngest champion in UFC history.
What sets Jones apart from Silva, in Sonnen's opinion at least, is his creativity and ability to reinvent the wheel every time he steps foot in the Octagon. In other words, he's an innovator.
"Jon comes out there with something new every time," he said. "Some trick that it appears he's making up. Stuff I've never seen."
Sonnen lost to Silva both times they did battle, once by fifth-round submission and once by second-round technical knockout.
If "The Spider" was able to take out Sonnen on two separate occasions, what does that say about his chances against Jones, who Sonnen openly admits is a better fighter? He doesn't know the answer, but one thing he does know is when the bell rings at UFC 159 he is going to attack Jones with everything he has.
"I am 100 percent offense and from the second the referee says, ‘Go.' I will. I will come across and I will bring the fight to him," Sonnen said. "I may go down, he's a good fighter I may go down, but I promise you I will go like a gangster and I will be firing the entire time."
We'll find out on April 27, 2013, as UFC 159: "Jones vs. Sonnen" goes down from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, live and only on pay-per-view (PPV).