Chael Sonnen’s only 24 hours removed from his announcement that he’s set to move up to the UFC’s light-heavyweight division to face Forrest Griffin, and already he’s got under the skin of the current champion Jon Jones with his trash-talking antics.
On ‘UFC Tonight’ last night Sonnen called Jones a “punk kid” who he could take the title from as easily as he could a kid’s candy at Halloween, while in Today’s New York Post he says, “I don’t think there’s gonna be much left of [Jones] when Dan Henderson gets done with him. If there’s anything left of him, I’d be happy to play cleanup.”
It’s the same spiel that Sonnen used to get under middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s skin and propelled him to secure two 185lb title fights, and it’s already having the desired effect at 205lbs.
“The things you say about me hold absolutely no weight,” Jones said in a Twitter message earlier today. “You disrespected Anderson and his country but fought like a child. If you’re going to disrespect me out of nowhere, at least disrespect me to my face like a man.
“And you call me a punk, I’m more man than you’ll ever be. #Coward #Cheater.”
No doubt pleased that Jones had taken the bait so easily, Sonnen quickly fired back at the young champion.
“Oh I plan too. Btw, how long did it take your parents to come up with your name, JON JONES.. #creative,” he replied.
“lol dude, you’re not worth my time,” Jones responded. “Earn a title shot instead of trying to talk your way into one and I’ll be glad to hurt you.”
Sonnen wasn’t willing to call it a day just yet though.
“Advice to @jonnybones. Take some of that Nike money, hire new writers.”
And for good measure he got in a dig about Jones recent DUI charge.
“Boarding plane to Oregon now, home of your corporate wage masters. Next time you are in town, knock on my door. Don’t drive. @johnnybones.”
Jones wasn’t impressed.
“lol you’re an idiot if you think I haven’t heard every dui joke in the book. I applaud original ones, that’s powerless.”
Even at this stage it’s clear to see that Jones is going to be the perfect mark for Sonnen’s games and that could lead to a big money fight down the line, but he’ll have to at the very least get through his debut with Griffin, and potentially another top flight opponent after that before this could become a reality, so he’s got his work cut out for him.
As a fighter half the battle is getting people interested in the possibility of you getting a title shot though, and in that regard the outspoken Oregonian is already shouldering his way to the front of the queue.