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Morning Report: Chael Sonnen responds to recent Jon Jones feud, Jones signing with Richard Schaefer

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UFC 159: Jones v Sonnen Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC Via Getty Images

Earlier this week, Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen got into a heated back-and-forth on Twitter. It started with Sonnen mocking Jones for a cryptic Tweet about giving birth to something out of the ordinary, and resulted in an expletive-filled tirade from Jones who then deleted most of his posts, which according to Sonnen, was exactly the reaction he was hoping for.

“Jon, I’m a troll,” Sonnen said in a video posted to his YouTube channel yesterday. “This is what a troll does. A troll comes at you over the internet from several states away where he’s protected in the hope of getting an emotional reaction from you. And he gave it to me! So point, Chael. Couldn’t have succeeded any better but over-performed my own expectations I must tell you. Jon was very upset.”

Since retiring from the sport in 2019, Sonnen has pivoted full-time into the media aspect of MMA but he still likes to stir the pot with former rivals from time to time, chief among them Jones. But more than just poking fun at him, Sonnen seems to have a genuine disdain for Jones’ business decisions. Jones is currently embroiled in another dispute with the UFC over pay, one that has ultimately seen the UFC move on from a superfight between Jones and heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in favor of an Ngannou-Derrick Lewis rematch. For Sonnen, Jones negotiating himself out of an opportunity like that in the hope that if he holds his ground better things will come is just bad business.

“Fighting moves so quickly,” Sonnen said. “And Jon is one of the top guys, no question. In terms of a name as well, one of the top guys. A year ago you guys didn’t know what a Khamzat Chimaev was. You didn’t know what it was. Now, I offer you that because those same guys are in heavyweight they just haven’t been identified. In fact, there are six or seven or eight of those guys that just haven’t had that breakthrough moment yet. When six or seven or eight guys within a division do, no one is coming to Jon Jones. This iron is hot right now and he is on a real short list of the Stipe Miocics, of the Francis Ngannous, of the Derrick Lewises, and then of course you’ve got Jon Jones. They’ve got 25 more guys that were up at five a.m. this morning with those same dreams getting their miles in. It goes fast. You’ve got to win the fights you can win when you can win them, you’ve got to get the fights you can get when you can get them, and this is a piece of the reality that he has disassociated with...

“I can’t remember the last time Jon Jones fought. It was against Dominick Reyes but was that a year ago? Was it two years ago? I think you guys understand my point - I’ve watched every show there is. I’ve watched every fight that has been on TV. I haven’t missed one and I haven’t missed Jon a bit. To be real fair, I’d rather have Jon and Francis than not have it, I’d rather have Jon and Stipe than not have it, but it’s not gonna stop me at 7:00 on a Saturday night.”

Of course, it’s not just Jones’ business choices that caused Sonnen to take shots at him. As the self-admitted troll also noted, Jones just offers ample opportunity to poke fun.

“Ultimately, he took the cake when he said he was going to give birth to an idea,” Sonnen said. “He was going to give birth to an idea! He said these words, but he couldn’t tell us what it was. (Long laugh). ‘Hey, everybody, give me your attention. I have something to tell you. No, no, I’m not gonna tell you. But it’s really good! No, no, I’m not gonna tell you!’ He pulled that publicly through social media... He was going to give birth to an idea! He was going to step in places no man has walked before!

“You can’t expect me as a guy who has a program to act as though that didn’t happen. You also can’t expect me as a guy who has a brain to not tease that! Of course I’m going to tease that.”

In the end, the big announcement that started all of this turned out to be that Jones retained formed Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer as an advisor for his fight career. It’s an announcement that grabbed headlines, but ultimately it remains to be seen how that may affect Jones’ negotiations with the UFC and for Sonnen, the answer is pretty clear: this announcement is all sizzle, no steak.

“Richard Schaefer is damn good,” Sonnen said. “He really is. Richard Schaefer is the one that built Golden Boy Promotions. Oscar [De La Hoya] stepped in front of the camera, Oscar gets the credit, and Oscar was The Golden Boy, and they were partners but make no mistake, Richard Schaefer built that company and he did a very good job...

“Jon has a contract... If you have an expert in the PPV business, great. You could probably do a lot of really good things with that guy but you’re under contract with somebody else which means you’re not gonna do those things with that guy. So what are you gonna do? ... What could it possibly be that these two guys are going to do? Richard would be a great guy in an advisory role to bring you in and talk to prior to sitting down at the table and working out your negotiations for your contract, of which you already have...

“It’s one of those things, the whole thing is absolutely baffling. Jon having Richard Schaefer is giving birth to no idea whatsoever. Jon having Richard Schaefer who has worked with countless fighters is not stepping where no man has stepped before. Maybe Jon isn’t done yet. Maybe he hasn’t finished the thought and old Chael is going a little bit too soon. Maybe Richard Schaefer and Jon Jones have something still to come. The problem is, it’s not gonna be in the fight world, it’s not gonna be a new promotion, it’s not gonna be something they do together because Jon is under contract!”

Jones last fought at UFC 247 in February of 2020. He is currently still under contract with the UFC.


TOP STORIES

Wrasslin. Former UFC and Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith joins WWE Raw as lead play-by-play announcer.

Advisor. Jon Jones retains former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer as new ‘advisor’ for his fight career.

Weird. Shane Burgos recounts bizarre ending to UFC 262 fight with Edson Barboza: ‘It slowly all shut off’.

Goals. Michael Page: ‘I enjoy Bellator, but I definitely feel like I need to touch the UFC at some point’.

Dismissal. Stipe Miocic dismisses Derrick Lewis’s ‘punch-drunk’ comment: ‘I have no idea what he’s talking about’.


VIDEO STEW

The A-Side Live Chat.

TUF Alumni who became champions.

Best finishes from TUF.

Jon vs. Dana.


LISTEN UP

Heavy Hands. Discussing Font vs. Garbrandt and technique trends in MMA.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Chael keeping it up.

Big time.

Giga.

Newly ranked.

Derek Brunson.

It’s GSP. We solved it.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Max Holloway (22-6) vs. Yair Rodriguez (13-2); UFC Fight Night, July 17.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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