Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones and retired UFC middleweight Dan Henderson are set to headline the second installment of the Submission Underground series, Submission Underground 2 (SU2). Their match will follow a co-main event featuring another former UFC champion, Miesha Tate, as she takes on Ohio’s very own UFC women’s bantamweight star, Jessica “Evil” Eye.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking this fight will be an easy win for Jones. After all, the former champion is not only one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but over 15 years younger than his opponent. Jones is also a decorated wrestler, and he has submitted BJJ black belts such as Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida.
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But Submission Underground founder and former UFC fighter, Chael Sonnen, thinks there is plenty Henderson will bring to the table at SU2. A former NCAA Division I wrestler himself, Sonnen is “the next level of guy” for Jones, and The American Gangster was more than eager to tell me why when we spoke via international phone call on Wednesday.
“First off, just on paper, Dan Henderson is a two-time Olympian [and] multiple-time national champion,” Chael reminded me. “Jon Jones was an excellent wrestler himself, but he didn’t do it at a very high level. He wrestled through the junior college. He won that. He was their national champion. He got recruited by a Division I university, but he ended up not enrolling. He didn’t go. He went a different path and got into MMA, so that’s the highest level that Jon ever competed at. He was the champion, and he never got to test himself against the next guy. He went a different route. Well, Dan Henderson represents that next level of guy. So, on paper, Dan Henderson is the more decorated wrestler. In practice, we’re going to have to find out.”*
And find out we will on December 19 when Jones and Henderson headline SU2 from the sold-out Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon. Fans who aren’t able to watch the event in person can still see the entire show live through FloGrappling.
And speaking of FloGrappling, we’ll talking to CEO Martin Floreani this Friday!
*Unfortunately, my conversation with Chael was cut short due to technical difficulties.