Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/24/13
Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen spent the day at ESPN Tuesday to promote their upcoming UFC 159 fight on Saturday in Newark. They each joined multiple shows and spent time conducting multiple interviews. Jones was his typically reserved self, while Sonnen was obnoxious like usual. However, one thing we did notice that was atypical of Sonnen was an expression of self-doubt. “I don’t know if I can beat Jon Jones,” Sonnen said during an interview with Sage Steele on “SportsCenter.” “I don’t if I will beat him. I know I can beat him, but I know he can beat me too,” Sonnen continued. “I may go down, but I will go down like a gangster and I will empty my chamber before I do.” It was surprising to hear such a braggadocios individual allow for the possibility of defeat. Generally, someone entering a title fight will be full of confidence and the belief that they will win. That does not seem to be Sonnen’s mentality. Jones picked up on that. Jones said that he’s learned not to be bothered by Sonnen’s big mouth. Instead, he lets his counterpart talk a big game because it serves them both well for purposes of promoting the fight. But Jones also said on “SportsCenter” that he noticed Sonnen’s lack of confidence in interviews. Jones said hearing Sonnen say he doesn’t know if he can win means that the challenger is already “half-beaten.” Jones said being around his opponent has allowed him to see where the challenger is mentally weak. Jones also said Sonnen ranks toward the bottom compared to his last five opponents because he is not a former world champion. He did admit that Sonnen is a “worthy opponent.” Though Sonnen has been talking a big game, there is an obvious size and ability mismatch here. Couple that with Sonnen’s self-doubt, and I’m expecting this to be an easy win for Jones. If that happens, Dana White likely will not be able to trot out Sonnen for another big fight until he wins some more.
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