EXCLUSIVE | Mike Dolce: Sonnen is “going to beat the piss out of Jon Jones” | BJPENN.COM Radio
Mike Dolce, former fighter and pioneer of “The Dolce Diet”, took to the airwaves on Wednesday night, March 13th as the first guest of the BJPENN.COM Radio show.
Ahead of Chael Sonnen’s clash for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship with Jon Jones on April 27th, Mike has been working closely with “The American Gangster” and monitoring not only his diet, but also his training regimen and mentality heading into the fight. In moving up to 205-a weight at which he has never competed in the UFC- Sonnen has raised many questions heading into the Jones bout regarding his move up from the 185-pound division.
According to Dolce, the move up in weight was long overdue:
“A guy like Chael, he’s a little bit different. When Chael was fighting at middleweight, he was 230-plus pounds in the offseason. That’s a massive middleweight, that’s a good-sized light heavyweight and a lot of the heavyweights are walking around somewhere-guys like Pat Barry, guys like Cain [Velasquez]- they’re walking around 230, 240; well that’s where Chael’s walking around now” Dolce said. “I mean, I’m not trying to hype anything, he’s just a freaking big, strong dude with the proper frame to hold that.
“So what we did with Chael, we changed some of his training: more explosive work, more posterior chain, more of the power muscles” Dolce continued. “Posterior chain, it’s the hamstrings, it’s the gluts, it’s the lower back, it’s the upper back. The power, the explosive muscles, we focused more on those areas and then we work in his performance factors: we make sure he keeps his agility and his flexibility. So as he gained a little more size and mass, we made sure his flexibility remained intact as when he was a middleweight; that was very important. A lot of athletes, they go through these bulking phases but they forget about their flexibility or their reactive ability, which is very important for me. Reactive ability in fighting and MMA is the most important characteristic. I mean, a split second off in timing and you’re knocked out; a split second on in timing and you’re winning by knockout. So with Chael that was very important.”
Dolce went on to note that Chael’s previous run as a 205-pound fighter saw him walking around at 202 pounds, simply utilizing an opening within the division to potentially get into the UFC. Back then, Dolce says, Chael could have potentially fought at 170, where as now Sonnen’s out-of-camp weight is that of a true, legitimate light heavyweight, which he believes is the optimum weight for Sonnen at this stage of his career.
“Chael’s in his mid-thirties now and making those weight cuts- I mean, he outgrew the middleweight class probably two years ago. So, the work that he and I have been doing going back to, you know- after he had that layoff, after he fought Anderson [Silva] and almost beat Anderson and then he had a long layoff. When he came, back his body changed; the time away from cutting weight allowed his body to catch up and maintain a normal, natural, healthy body weight, which was near 230 pounds” said the famed nutritionist, who mentioned that Sonnen’s fights with Brian Stann, Michael Bisping and rematch with Anderson Silva saw him making weight cuts of somewhere close to 45 pounds. “So him at 205 now I think is a great fit where the weight cut that is much more appropriate, where 205 to- he was up at the high-230’s, now most of his training camp he’s been in the high-220’s- now we’re talking about a 20-pound weight reduction instead of a 40-pound weight reduction.”
In regards to Chael’s preparation for Jon Jones, Dolce was very outspoken in his beliefs that the West Linn, Oregon-bred fighter will shock the world based on his performances in training alongside fellow-UFC light heavyweight, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Vinny Magalhaes.
“I think Chael- from what I’ve seen and what I know- he’s the favorite. If you guys, if the world, if the bookmakers were able to see what’s going on in training camp- how he’s looking, how he’s performing- I think those odds would change really quick. But what they’re doing, what most people do, is they look at his last year or so, his last fight and they write him off as a result of that. They look at maybe some headlines and they write him off as a result of that.
“But, if you break down the fight, you say, ‘well Chael is 10 years older than Jon Jones. Chael is a much more accredited wrestler than Jon Jones,’ and that was Jon’s strength; he would use his wrestling to allow his striking to come through. Well Jon can’t use his wrestling effectively against Chael. Jon’s going to be really on the defensive when it comes to wrestling, and how is Jon going to be with his striking when he’s constantly worried about Chael getting close, getting on his hips, getting his hands locked on him? That’s an issue.”
Then, Dolce made perhaps his most shocking proclamation in predicting the outcome of the fight:
“Chael’s 10 years older, and it’s the big brother mentality, you know? Chael’s been beating up guys like Jon Jones his whole life, his whole career, and that’s the mentality we have going into it. He’s going to beat the piss out of Jon Jones for 25 minutes no matter what” Dolce said, referencing Sonnen’s previous bouts with Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami as examples of what type of performance the fans should expect.
“It’s going to be a nasty machine, and we’re training Chael for 25 minutes of non-stop aggression; no matter what gets broken, no matter what gets ripped open, no matter what part of his body gets torn off, no matter how much blood is there, no matter how many bones crack. We are pushing him and training him to power through that, and I don’t think Jon is prepared to power through that. Jon almost tapped when Vitor [Belfort] was playing with his arm. Jon- we saw Jon mentally start to break when Lyoto Machida put a little bit of heat on him and touched his jaw a couple times. Jon’s never really had that big brother on top of him beating the piss out of him. I mean, Chael’s going to walk across the cage to give Jon Jones a big old’ wedgie, and freaking give him a noogie, and Jon’s not going to be able to do anything about it. That’s the type of fight we’re looking for.”
Listen to the full interview below: