Chael Sonnen is convinced that Jon Jones is the toughest fighter in the world.
During a recent episode of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Sonnen and Helwani deliberated over the best fight of the decade. Helwani suggested Jones’ 2013 UFC 165 fight against Alexander Gustafsson was the first time the champion had faced any true adversity, adding that Jones’ partying and antics outside the octagon all contributed to the drama of a show-stopping fight.
Chael Sonnen agreed with that sentiment.
“That was one of the nights when everybody else that wanted to fight Jon Jones, everybody in that division stood back and goes ‘Oh no,'” Sonnen said. “Cause here was the belief in Jon Jones, we recognized he was the best fighter. So then the question was, well is he the toughest?
“If it’s true that he’s partying like he admits, if it’s true he’s not in the gym and focused and training as his teammates will state behind his back, then it must also be true that should this fight go long and gritty and dirty, he simply can’t hold up, that’s just logic. False,” Sonnen continued.
“Turned out Jon Jones was the best fighter and the toughest fighter. And you never have to be both, you can win world Olympic titles either being the best or the toughest. Nobody is ever both. Jon Jones proved how tough he is in that fight with Gus.”
Jon Jones won his 2013 fight with Alexander Gustafsson by unanimous decision, though many fans felt the judges got it wrong. In late 2018, he fought Gustafsson for a second time, winning be third-round TKO.
Do you agree with this assessment from Chael Sonnen? Is Jon Jones the toughest fighter in the world? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/7/2020.