Jones revealed last week in an interview with Submission Radio that he was offered — and turned down — an opportunity to headline UFC 300. The reigning UFC heavyweight champion said he did not feel comfortable jumping onto the April 13 mega-event while still working his way back from the torn pectoral muscle he suffered in October 2023.
For Sonnen, a three-time UFC title challenger who famously fought Jones in 2013, the revelation was a baffling admission for “Bones” to bring into the public eye — and one Sonnen thinks was born entirely out of Jones’ thirst for attention as he sits on the sidelines.
“I would just have absolutely no idea what goes through that guy’s head,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel. “Like, there’s a level of stupid that’s really hard to achieve, right? I mean, it’s hard. And in fairness, I wouldn’t know.
“When would it be OK for Jon to claim that he was offered a main event at UFC 300? When would that be okay to claim? When he wasn’t. If he was not offered that, if he’s working, if that’s a hustle to get a headline, he did a great job. You have a heavyweight champion of the world who is amongst the best to have ever done it, in any weight class. Heavyweight sucks, so it’s not like a compliment to say, ‘He’s the best heavyweight ever.’ No, man, I’m talking about a real compliment to Jon — just one of the best to ever do it, period. But you have to understand, if no one’s talking about you, then you’re not. It’s not questionable or a maybe — if the world’s not talking about you, you’re not.
“The reigning, sitting heavyweight champion of the world can’t get a headline,” Sonnen continued. “So if he made this up, if this is a lie about 300, great job. First time you’ve ever done a great job. Great job. But because it would be the first time, because that’s off-brand, I don’t think it’s what happened. I think he got a phone call. So now he comes out and he outs the organization. He just outs the organization, ‘Hey man, these guys don’t have a main event.’
“Daniel Cormier called him a bad employee a couple weeks ago. Very low hanging fruit. That’s not a tremendous insult. Yeah, I mean, my God — what he did here, if that call really happened, is so damaging. And it’s not self serving, by the way. You want to go into business by yourself? Go ahead. There’s a time and a place, right? You want to become the next Stone Cold Steve Austin, you might have to go off script, but where was the payoff for Jon? What is the payoff for Jon that they called him and offered him a fight?”
The topic of UFC 300’s missing main event is one that continues to lead the MMA news cycle as UFC CEO Dana White works to fulfill his many promises of putting together one of the greatest cards the sport has ever seen. With less than nine weeks to go, UFC 300 currently has 11 fights booked, but is still searching for its top marquee matchup.
Jones’ next step has been a point of contention among the MMA community since he withdrew from his UFC 295 title defense against Stipe Miocic due to injury. In his stead, Tom Aspinall stepped up and won the UFC interim heavyweight title with a knockout of Sergei Pavlovich. Jones has since rebuffed any attempts from Aspinall to book a title unification bout, staunchly sticking to his plan to re-book the Miocic fight once he is healthy.
Sonnen previously poked fun at Jones’ handling of that situation, and now “The American Gangster” is back on a similar beat with Jones’ latest news.
“He didn’t say anything that could be helpful,” Sonnen said of Jones. “He only said one detail that could harm the company. They don’t have a main event and they’re scrambling, which means any of you that are getting an alike phone call, negotiate hard, they need you. That is what the heavyweight champion just told the rest of the roster.
“It’s one of these very bizarre situations where you have a guy so hungry for attention that he just came out and damaged the company, and he didn’t mean to — he’s stupid. But the irony of it is, guys like me … I’d like to give them the attention. Now I might be giving him the business and I might not be what you would call his [friend], but I do like to cover Jon, I do like when there’s some news out there. So if he’s starved for attention and he needs it and he craves it so bad, if the bottles coming to an end, if it’s one of these situations, we’ll give it to him.
“But for right now to come out with nothing monetizable, no payoff, no receipt, no reward, no anything, and advertise that your boss does not have the main event that he’s advertised to the world that he has? It’s a scumbag move, man,” Sonnen continued. “It’s a scumbag move. And Dana and Hunter [Campbell] and Mick [Maynard] and Sean [Shelby], they shouldn’t have to call you and say, ‘Hey man, this is just between us’. They shouldn’t have to say it every time. If you’ve been here, then you know that’s the deal. If you’re our champion, we should be able to count on you. Daniel Cormier’s right — that is a bad employee.”