The overwhelming consensus throughout the MMA world seems to be that after UFC 159 concludes tonight, don’t expect Chael Sonnen to be wearing the light-heavyweight belt. While Xtreme Couture’s head grappling coach Neil Melanson is also predicting Jon Jones to continue his violent reign, he also thinks Sonnen could be “one of the greatest fighters ever.”

Melanson recently spoke with Fightline’s Michael Stets about tonight’s main event, and shared his thoughts on why he believes Jones will tie Tito Ortiz’s record for title defenses. While Melanson praised Sonnen’s wrestling abilities, and thinks Sonnen may take Jones down to the mat, he believes “it’s just a matter of time before Jones picks up the win.”

In addition, the decorated grappler also shared these thoughts on Sonnen and his ability, which were, interesting to say the least.

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“I’ll be candid, I have nothing to hide. I don’t really care. I’m not interested in making friends, and I’ll say what I feel. Everything comes down to Chael. It comes down to him personally. I personally think he has all the ability and tools to be one of the greatest fighters to live. Especially with the fact that he is such a good speaker, he’s charismatic the whole deal. He could be like a Muhammad Ali. The reason why Chael is not the greatest fighter who ever lived is not because of anyone else but Chael himself.”

Melanson also pointed to Sonnen’s busy schedule, which includes extensive media and commentating commitments, as a possible hindrance to his fighting career. As far as being a TV personality and captivating performer, well, does anyone do it better in MMA?

Caged Insider will have continuing coverage of today’s UFC 159 card.


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