Chael Sonnen got Chael Sonnen'd by Jon Jones last night (Sat., April 27, 2013) in the main event of UFC 159, which took place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., losing via first round technical knockout.
Most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans didn't give the self-proclaimed "American Gangster" much of a chance to beat "Bones" because he has demonstrated that he is head and shoulders above all Light Heavyweight competition, while Sonnen, well, is just a bulked-up Middleweight who was gifted the opportunity since he knows how to sell a pay-per-view (PPV) event like no other.
Regardless, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White did his best to sell this as a fair fight, during which "anything can happen." It was far from fair, with Jones taking a page from Sonnen's playbook and grinding his The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 coaching counterpart from the opening bell and forcing a referee stoppage with less than 30 seconds remaining in round one (watch highlights here).
"He's an excellent fighter -- I have no problem with the decision or the stoppage," Sonnen said in his immediate post-fight interview. "He is very powerful, when he went for the kill he never stopped. I thought I was alright, but I think he is a better fighter. I just wanted to beat him, I thought I could keep up with him. I was just very surprised by his power and size. I'm disappointed, I thought I had more in me. Tonight, Jon is the man."
Had Sonnen, who was crumpled up against the cage and taking knees to the chest and repeated punches to the face, been able to hang on for the second stanza, the tide could have turned in his favor. That's because Jones suffered a gruesome dislocated/broken toe (see pic here) that he didn't even notice until Joe Rogan pointed it out.
Indeed, "anything" can happen in this sport, but we'll never know for sure if that freak injury would have benefited Sonnen later in the bout. The reality is that Sonnen was defeated before he even stepped inside the Octagon, outgunned, outsized and outmuscled by the best 205-pound fighter on the planet.
Jones seemingly isn't going anywhere other than up to Heavyweight once he depletes the rest of the Light Heavyweight top contender cupboard for good. And not even Sonnen's big mouth can talk himself into another title shot anytime soon, meaning that he'll have to do some soul searching in the coming days, weeks and months to determine where, if at all, he fits into the bigger picture.
"I'm going to think [next move] through," Sonnen said. "I'm not going to be one of these guys who hang around if there is not a road to the title, then this sport is no longer for me. I believe that was probably my last opportunity."