“He’s Hard To Sell”- Chael Sonnen Says Jon Jones Can’t Sell Like Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor

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November 11, 2020 9:03 pm

Jon Jones is arguably one of the greatest fighters of all time. His longevity at the highest level of the sport is almost unheard of. However, Jones has never had the same mainstream pull that many other stars have had. One could argue that the other stars never even came close to replicating Jon Jones’s resume. Nonetheless, the public moves the needle, and Jones has never had the sway he should have had.

Chael Sonnen, a man that once faced Jones in the cage, has commented on Jones’s ability to sell and why he isn’t amongst the pantheon of greats.

“Jon has always been in a spot where he’s hard to sell. It’s very hard to sell for the same problems that Roy Jones Jr. had. People know how this story is going to end, and he’s not interesting enough of a guy.

“For example, a Floyd Mayweather type. There’s only two fighters in history that can sell on their own. Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya. They need to amend that list to add Floyd Mayweather. You may be able to amend that list another time to insert Conor McGregor.”

Jon Jones and his ability to sell

Jon Jones has sold 7,122,000 PPVs in his entire career in his thirteen PPV bouts. His highest came in his second fight with Daniel Cormier (860,000). For context, Floyd Mayweather’s two biggest PPV sales against Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao alone come over 9 million. McGregor has sold 9,875,000 PPVs in nine PPV bouts, comfortably beating Jones.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 02: Jon Jones battles Anthony Smith (not pictured) in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 235 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

However, just because Jones hasn’t drawn the casual eye does not mean that he isn’t a top draw. Jones was the biggest draw in the Light Heavyweight division on his own, even ahead of Daniel Cormier. However, both their top two selling bouts came against each other. Neither fight generated a million buys, but the 1.6 million over two fights is quite impressive.

But Sonnen has an indisputable point. Jones is not at that level of drawing power, even though he may be the most talented inside the cage. Whether it was his P.E.D. fails, legal troubles, or anything else, we will never know. But it definitely isn’t because Jones isn’t one of the best fighters to step in the cage.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub. Ishaan has a keen interest in theatre and films, and has dabbled in the art, winning several awards for his scripts over the years. He has written for popular YouTube channels such as The Wrestling Hub and WhatCulture. Now, Ishaan also heads the site's NCAA Basketball division.

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