He's called the "American Gangster" for a reason.
Regardless, Greg Jackson -- head guru at Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial arts (MMA) -- believes Chael Sonnen doesn't get enough credit for being tough, even though the former two-time No. 1 Middleweight title contender likely holds a high opinion if his abilities.
As Jackson prepares Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones for his title fight against Sonnen at UFC 159, which takes place at the Prudential Center on April 27, 2013, he is well aware of the dangers he can pose, preparing "Bones" for an "all out war."
His words (via Bloody Elbow):
"There are a lot of danger zones with Chael. Chael is tougher than a lot of people give him credit for. When we didn't want to fight him on three days' notice or whatever, we'd never fight anybody on such short notice for somebody at Jon Jones level. People think he doesn't have any punching power, but then you see him drop Anderson Silva. Once he gets on top of you, it's trouble, and a lot of guys can't seem to get around that ground-and-pound style, so if you don't do things correctly with him, you get in trouble real quick. We have to make sure we take him very seriously. He's a very tough opponent and he's very smart. He's going to try to negate the length and push the fight forward, and we have to be ready for that. We have to be ready for a 25-minute, all out war. He's going to try to wear Jon down with his cardio. We have to be ready for all of those eventualities to make sure that Jon is on point and ready and can execute his gameplan. It's not going to be an easy fight."
It's safe to say Sonnen has given current 185-pound kingpin, Silva, his toughest test to date, coming within minutes of dethroning "The Spider" at UFC 117 in 2010 before getting caught in a fight-ending triangle in the fifth and final round. Prior to the tapout, Sonnen ground Silva into the ground, showing just how "tough" he can be when facing top-level competition.
He'll have to bring that same tenacity when he faces Jones -- another seemingly unstoppable champion -- in what will mark Sonnen's return to the 205-pound weight class since 2007.
Meanwhile, "Bones" will have to do avoid the danger zones if he hopes to retain his title and spot as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.