On Saturday night at the TUF finale, we saw an awkward exchange between Chael Sonnen, Jon Jones and Jon Anik sandwiched in-between. Chael was spouting his usual schtick, while Bones was disturbingly quiet, looking down to the floor and responding with minimally-worded answers. The juxtaposition between the two fighters couldn’t have been more blatant.
In fact, it almost seemed like Chael was shook by the silent Jones.
Some have said this is Jones burying his own career by “refusing” to promote the fight. Others think it’s Jones being “above the trash talk” or “believing his own hype.” Personally, I think it’s a guy who refuses to take the bait and turn MMA into the WWE. For that, I applaude Jones. By not talking he has just as many people talking as he would if he were to talk a bunch of trash.
Granted, Jones did just go on UFC Tonight and say that Chael has been on steroids his entire career, but before that, he said this:
“Chael’s doing what he does best. He’s promoting a fight and I’m going to let him do it.”
“I realize through experience that talking trash does nothing for the fight.”
I’m really not concerned with too many of Chael’s gifts. Chael is an awesome fighter, he has pretty good boxing, he loves wrestling and he’s been really successful with his wrestling. He has really good ground-and-pound. I’ve just familiarized myself with the whole thing and I’m really comfortable with what I’m getting ready to face. I wouldn’t say any of it really concerns me. I’m just ready to go out there, react, be instinctual, do my best and try to do what I do.”
“I’d tell him to bring it. Bring your best. I hope you’re having a great camp and I hope you’re healthy and I’m excited for this awesome challenge.