Sonnen may have lost Saturday night at UFC
159, but he is far from a beaten man.
The recent light heavyweight title challenger was dominated by
reigning champion Jon Jones in
their April 27 headliner, falling in a first-round technical
knockout at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Though
speculation surfaced following the bout that Sonnen might hang up
his gloves for good, the 36-year-old recently silenced those rumors
during his Tuesday appearance on “UFC Tonight” on Fuel TV.
“I’ll fight at 205 [pounds]. I’m not retiring,” Sonnen said. “I
have a lot of goals, and I’m not going to reach them if I
Sonnen found himself on the defensive from the opening moments of
his clash with Jones, as the champion closed the distance and
worked from the clinch while mixing in takedown attempts.
“This was like getting into a bear cage. This guy was a monster of
a man,” said Sonnen. “We weighed in at the same size the day
before, and I don’t know how that was possible. As far as the match
went, I got beat up.”
Jones put Sonnen on his back three times in the opening stanza and
managed to hold him there near the end of the round, when “Bones”
unloaded with a barrage of punches and elbows that forced referee
Peterson to halt the contest.
“I was going to have to grind him down. I could see he poses a lot
of problems. He’s big, he’s strong, and he’s got the wing span of a
radioactive condor,” said Sonnen. “I knew he’d take me down, but I
never thought that he could take me down repeatedly. That was a
surprise. And the fact that he tried so quickly, I was thrown off a
Unbeknown to Jones in the midst of record-tying fifth consecutive
title defense, he had actually suffered an open fracture
dislocation to his left big toe during the bout. Should Sonnen have
survived that first-round onslaught, the championship likely would
have changed hands due to Jones’ injury, resulting in a technical
knockout win for Sonnen.
“Diplomatically, you don’t ever want to win that way,” said Sonnen.
“The ones that hurt are the ones you’re supposed to win and then
you blow it. But if it was given to me, I would have grabbed that
belt, held it up, grabbed the mic and told the crowd the golden
rule is ‘he with the gold rules,’ and I would have walked out of
that place and never looked back.”
With the Jones defeat now behind him, Sonnen has his sights set on
another veteran in former Pride Fighting Championships titlist
“Wanderlei called me out before, but the fight never made sense.
Now it does,” said Sonnen. “I’m not going anywhere until me and
Wanderlei straighten this thing out once and for all. Wanderlei
pulled a dirt bag move on me one time. He said something to me that
I couldn’t hear and then put it on YouTube with subtitles because
he knew I couldn’t understand it and called me out. If you’re a
fighter, that doesn’t fly. You must respond to him, and I’m ready
to respond to you, Wanderlei.”