Sonnen-Jones appointment viewing at UFC 159
The UFC Light-Heavyweight title fight Saturday night will be appointment viewing.
At least, that’s Chael Sonnen’s view of things.
“This is the biggest fight in light-heavyweight division history,” Sonnen said. He will fight reigning champion Jon Jones in the main event for the title.
“They’ve sold this venue out faster than any other venue. We’ve already sold more commercial establishments — pay-per-views — than any show. We’re trending 17 percent ahead of what Georges St. Pierre and [Nick] Diaz did, which is the biggest fight so far of the year. If you don’t want to see the fight, don’t see it. But you’re going to be the only one,” Sonnen said.
“They’re going to miss the biggest fight in the history of the light-heavyweight division. Everybody’s tuning in for this fight. This is the biggest match of the year.”
Jones has a 17-1 overall record and is 11-1 in the UFC. His only loss was a first-round disqualification to Matt Hamill in “The Ultimate Fighter 10″ finale in December 2009. UFC President Dana White said yesterday he does not think the loss should count. Instead, he blamed referee Steve Mazzagatti for the decision.
Sonnen has a career record of 28-12-1. He is 6-5 in the UFC, but has lost two of his last four fights. Both losses came to UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Silva submitted Sonnen at UFC 117 and won by TKO at UFC 148.
So what’s the difference between those fights and the one that will take place Saturday night?
“I think Jon’s the best, but I’m better,” Sonnen said. “I think he’s great, but I’m greater.”
Jones slams Mitrione
Jones has talked in recent days about moving to heavyweight. There is one fighter in the division Jones has no use for, and it has nothing to do with his skills inside the octagon.
“No,” Jones said Thursday when it was suggested Matt Mitrione could be his first opponent at heavyweight. “He’s not worthy.”
Jones was troubled about Mitrione’s comments regarding transgender fighter Fallon Fox. During an interview earlier this month with Ariel Helwani on the “MMA Hour,” Mitrione called Fox “a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak,” and added “He had a gender change, not a sex change. He’s still a man. He was a man for 31 years. He’s a man. Six years of taking performance-dehancing drugs, you think is going to change all that?”
The UFC fined Mitrione an undisclosed amount. He is scheduled to fight fellow heavyweight Brendan Schaub on the UFC on Fox 8 card on July 27 in Seattle.
“I think he’s terrible for that. It’s ridiculous,” Jones said. He noted he was a “fan” of Fox’s, saying she is “a strong person.”
“It’s like, ‘shut your mouth,’” Jones said.
Follow MMA beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.