may not have a dog in the fight, but he does have an opinion on the "Spygate" flareup that recently ensnared UFC
light-heavyweight No. 1 contender Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and champion Jon Jones
The opinionated middleweight star believes the situation was mishandled by all parties involved, from fighters to management.
Speaking on Tuesday's edition of The MMA
Hour, Sonnen said the whole thing began because of Jackson's victim mentality, calling him the "biggest poor-me fighter" out there. While Sonnen acknowledged that it's likely a psychological tactic which allows Jackson to get into the right frame of mind to fight, he also said that he couldn't quite understand it.
"It's silly," he said. "That's why I'm saying this whole thing is ridiculous. Look, I posted my entire training sessions live on the internet at Athletebay.com. The whole world could log in and watch Yushin [Okami
] and I spart. Oscar de la Hoya holds open workout sessions. 'Sugar' Ray Leonard did this, 'Iron' Mike Tyson did this. And then some other guys like to be private. Floyd Mayweather won't let you watch him spar. Randy Couture
had an open door policy. 'Come on in.' Dan Henderson's got an open-door policy. It's no big deal.
"But it's a mental thing," he continued. "If Rampage wants to be Mr. Private, and that's how he feels better, then let him. Tito [Ortiz
] is the same way. Tito doesn't let guys watch him. I don't really get it. What could you possibly learn? A guy's got a couple hands, a couple feet and he's going to use them all in the ring. I don't know. I truly don't know. And if you're opponent wants to worry about you and what you're going to do, then he's not thinking about himself and what what he's going to do, and that's what really matters. So the whole thing was silly, but it was a major opportunity ... and the Jones camp ruined it."
That last assertion stems from Sonnen's belief that Jones and his management lost not one, but two great opportunities that could have resulted from Rampage's belief that a mole had infiltrated his camp. First, he lost the chance to get and stay inside Rampage's head.
"As I understood it, Rampage actually canceled a workout over this whole thing," he said. "He puts out, 'Oh man, my hand's hurt.' This was his way of pulling the mole out. 'Oh, my hand's hurt, I can't work out.' He actually skips the workout to see if that information gets back. It does come back to him. If you're Jon Jones
, why would you not keep that going? Why would you possibly stop that?"
Secondly, even if it wasn't true that Jones had a spy, the denial doused water on the story's sizzle. Jones' manager Malki Kawa originally denied the accusation by saying, "I promise to God, I have no spy in the camp."
Later, he said Jackson was simply trying to "hype the fight" with the claims. In Sonnen's mind, the extra attention that would have resulted from any prolonged back-and-forth would have meant more eyeballs on the fight, and more dollars. Instead, the dispute was extinguished.
"Look Malki, if you're at all a trustable guy, you don't need to swear on God," Sonnen said. "Just tell him it didn't happen. Unless you have an extremely guilty conscience, and an extremely poor track record, all you need to say is your piece. You don't need to bring God into it, and all these other things.
"And then he breaks the cardinal rule and says Rampage is just hyping a fight," he continued. "Well, gee Malki, if he is, and you're part of that fight, why would you stop him? You stupid son of a ... I would have fired him for using the word 'hype.' Jon Jones needs to silence that guy and keep him out of the media. He does not have the rhetorical skills or PR training to speak on this level."
Jones-Jackson goes down on September 24 as the UFC 135
main event from the Pepsi Center in Denver.