MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture believes Chael Sonnen is capable of stunning light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones in their title fight next April.
Sonnen, a former middleweight contender, will move to the light-heavyweight division to challenge Jones for the championship. He figures to be a massive underdog against “Bones,” though Couture will not be surprised to see him win.
“Chael has a great opportunity to win this fight, actually,” Couture told MMA Fighting. “Technically, I see a similar style fight as Anderson Silva.”
Sonnen came close to defeating Silva, the UFC’s middleweight king, in their title clash at UFC 117. He dominated “The Spider” for nearly the entire fight, but succumbed to a triangle choke late in the fifth round.
But Couture believes Sonnen can use the Silva fight as a blueprint for Jones.
“If he wades through him and makes Jon Jones wrestle him the entire fight, I think he can win that,” Couture said. “He can do it, but he needs that gameplan.”
“He needs to make it a wrestling match, start to finish,” he added.
Sonnen has been criticized for getting a shot at Jones’ title despite not establishing himself as a contender in the division first. Some critics, including other fighters, pointed out that Sonnen “talked” his way into the title picture.
Couture is not disturbed by this, saying that “at the end of the day, it’s a business decision.”
“This is a business, and Chael Sonnen is going to bring it and hype up any single fight he’s in,” he said.
Couture was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in June 2006. He is the oldest champion in UFC history, winning the heavyweight title from Tim Sylvia in August 2007 at the age of 43. He retired in April 2011 after losing to Lyoto Machida.