When Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen collide in the UFC 159 main event, Daniel Cormier believes that “Bones” will retain his title, though he does not agree with the 9-to-1 odds bookmakers have stacked against the challenger.
“There are very few things that really work me up. These odds work me up,” said Cormier during a guest host appearance on Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on Fuel TV. “Anytime you have a guy who was a two-time middleweight [title challenger] as a 9-to-1 underdog, it’s insane. It puts a lot of pressure on Jones as the champion.
“Chael’s speeches are great, but Jon Jones is the man and is going to win this fight,” Cormier continued. “But Chael, go out there, take him down and set the game plan and the way to beat Jon Jones for the rest of us.”
Cormier will undoubtedly pay close attention to how the bout unfolds, as the two-time Olympic wrestler is currently contemplating a drop to 205 pounds in order to avoid a potential confrontation with American Kickboxing Academy teammate and UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
While Cormier believes that Jones will walk out of Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., with his championship status intact, “DC” also expects Sonnen to prevent a rout on the strength of his considerable wrestling ability.
“Chael is going to make him fight in places where he’s not used to fighting. I know Chael will take him down, and he is going to pressure him,” said Cormier. “The one thing we don’t see from Jon that often is him being uncomfortable in the cage. Chael is going to make him uncomfortable by constantly going forward. Chael won’t make the mistake that a lot of guys make: backing up and circling. You cannot allow Jon Jones to be so comfortable going forward in the cage.”
However, even with Sonnen’s top-shelf wrestling pedigree and title fight experience, Cormier believes that the Oregonian’s chances of actually pulling out a win remain slim. Although Cormier takes issue with the astronomical odds placed against Sonnen by the bookmakers, the 34-year-old still believes that a Sonnen win should be viewed as the biggest upset in UFC history.
“Hands down, without a doubt,” said Cormier. “People talk about Matt Serra versus Georges St. Pierre. Serra had knockout power and the submission threat. If Chael is going to beat Jon Jones, he’s going to have to beat him over the course of 25 minutes and dominate that fight.”