He was losing the entire light heavyweight title fight to Jones on April 27 in Newark, N.J., before it was stopped at 4:33 of the first round. Ironically, with Jones' suffering an ugly dislocated toe in the first round, had Sonnen survived the last 27 seconds, there is little chance Jones would have been allowed to go out for the second round. At that point, Sonnen would have been awarded the fight and become one of the most unlikely champions in UFC history.
Sonnen did think the fight was stopped early, but made it clear he doesn't want to come across as complaining about it.
"It was the biggest drawing fight of the year [actually it was No. 2 on pay-per-view behind Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz, at least going into the recent Silva vs. Chris Weidman fight], and I took a good solid ass whipping."
"I appreciate the fact he did that (the ref stopped the Jones fight), but it was definitely an early stoppage. You don't want to second guess it. It goes both ways. I've been in a position where I've been barely doing any damage and the ref stopped it. It's just sport. You don't cry over spilled milk. You pick yourself up and walk out."
If youíre hoping to see the return of the trash talking Sonnen, who put his name on the map as one of MMAís biggest drawing cards in his two fights with Anderson Silva, you may be disappointed.
"Rua seems like a really great guy," he said. "Heís one of the few legends that are still fighting. Anytime you get old and you retire from the sport, thereís been an instant assignment of legend status. He truly is a legend. I admire him. I admire what heís done in the ring. Heís not me, but he is very good."
Another person Sonnen has been dishing out lots of love for is new middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Sonnen made it clear to anyone who would listen to him, that Weidman was going to take the title from Anderson Silva when public perception was very different, so he canít be accused of jumping on a bandwagon.
While some considered it a shocking upset, the truth is a lot of people within the industry believed Weidman would win, although few would have predicted it would be a second round knockout standing.
Because of that, the first question Sonnen was asked about the UFC 162 fight was if Silva threw the fight.
"Well, hereís what youíve got to understand, he got knocked out cold," said Sonnen. "Itís not like a Mike Tyson fight where you get hit, you stay down until the ref counts ten, and then get right back up. Silva had two choices in that fight. Heíd have fought serious and got beaten up, or heíd clown around and get beaten up. Thatís not me speaking out against Anderson. Heís excellent. But Andersonís not Chris Weidman and heís never going to be."
Once again, that led to the same question, at 38, whether age is or isnít relevant.
"I donít know if heís in the downside of his career," said Sonnen when asked if Weidman caught Silva on his decline. "Heís just not Chris Weidman. He just stuck around too long and the next generation is here. There are guys who can beat him, but only a couple of guys. Heís a top ten fighter, actually heís ranked No. 2, but heís not going to beat a 28-year-old All-American wrestler named Chris Weidman. Thatís not going to happen."