In the wake of Jon Jones turning down a fight with Chael Sonnen, Jonathan Snowden interviewed the Gangster from Oregon, who reflected on one of the craziest days in UFC history.
"When I decided to go after the light heavyweight championship, I knew that I'd win it like I always do," said Sonnen. "I just didn't know it would be by forfeit. But I do stand before you today the light heavyweight champion."
"The fight's going to happen sooner or later. It's not like I'm not going to beat this guy up. It's just a matter of when."
"This was his biggest opportunity. There's no question I could beat Jon Jones. Jon Jones can beat me too. But I can beat him."
"The next time we meet up, when I've had a camp and my coaches around me, that's not going to be the case. It's really important to win these fights, and the world saw me lose a fight. I fell down. I'm not going to fall down again."
"My biggest concern isn't with the fight or myself at all. My biggest concern is with Dan Henderson and his health. I have a personal relationship with him. I know his kids and how much he loves playing with them, so I just hate to see the guy's health in any kind of jeopardy."
"I really think quite highly of Greg Jackson. You have to understand his opinion and influence on Jon is earned. Jon respects him. He earned that. I understand there are repercussions for Coach Jackson, but that's what he's hired to do. He's not an employee of the UFC. He's a coach and he gave the advice to his athlete—I respect that. I think we should respect that he spoke his mind to his athlete that trusts him."
"I have this stigma of being a trash talker, but my only goal was to bring these bullies down. I never picked on anybody who wasn't No. 1 in the world. When I went after Wanderlei Silva, he had an aura around him that he couldn't be beat. When I went after Anderson, when I went after Paulo Filho, the Nogueira brothers, Machida. If they were in my cross hairs, they were a No. 1 guy that everyone else was sidestepping.
"They are all a bunch of punks and bullies and I will never be one. The only litmus test I have for myself—am I willing to fight anybody? When the day comes that I won't fight somebody, I won't fight anybody. If there is someone out there that makes me go 'I'm not fighting him,' then I'm not going to fight anyone anymore.
"Jon Jones is a delusional brat. He talks of being a businessman?! What?! What risks did he take? What capital did he raise? Where exactly is his office located? How many people does me employ? Hey JJ, put me on the phone with your secretary... Oh wait, what?"
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Sonnen expanded on the champion remarks, in a statement on his Facebook fan page.
I am no longer permitted to speak ill of the former champion Jon Jones as we have come to an agreement. I will stop tearing him down verbally and in exchange he has relinquished his belt to me. I would like to read a prepared statement from the former Champion.
In every mans life a choice must eventually be made. Run or fight. I said I wouldn't duck any man as champion. But you areno ordinary man. You've spoken nothing but truth in your attempt to gain a title fight with me. My last act of cowardness is to hand over what you would have beaten out of me 8 days from today. The UFC LHW Title. Now I must refocus my life. Good luck Champ.
Jon Bones Jones
P.S. I just ordered your best selling book, A Voice of Reason from amazon, I've been told by Greg Jackson that it will help me get through this tough time. Thanks