Jones vs. Sonnen will follow the fighters’ coaching stints on TUF 17, which will surely put the sport in a good light and won’t at all be an embarrassment to all humanity. So start saving that cash, Tri-State Area residents. You don’t want to miss history.
(Let’s just say that their Chat Roulette session with fans quickly took a turn for the worse.)
When it was first announced that Jon Jones would be coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Chael Sonnen, then beating him into dust defending his light heavyweight strap against him at the season’s end, the general public reaction seemed to be that of bewilderment. Even those who were quick to defend the pairing didn’t have the cojones to claim that Sonnen had earned a title shot (because how could you), but rather that he stepped up when no one else would and it would make for great television so we should just all STFU. We have officially entered the Rollerballphase of the UFC, people. And although Sonnen made sure to break out the WWE trash-talk in the days following the announcement, if you are expecting all-out verbal warfare on next season’s TUF, you might want to start preparing yourself for disappointment.
Last night, Dana White, Jones, and Sonnen sat down for a 40 minute video chat with fans to answer questions about ranging from the upcoming season of the reality show to what Dana White thinks of Fedor, which was apparently asked by a fan who had been living underground for the past 3 years. After Dana was done berating anyone who had the gall to ask him anything other than how he would describe his perfect Sunday, he called in an uncharacteristically laid back and terrorist beard-free Jones, who was immediately asked how he viewed Sonnen now that the show had begun shooting. His response was surprising to say the least.
UFC Hall of famer and rock hipster Randy Couture stopped by Spike’s MMA Uncensored television program recently and discussed a wide range of topics. Our favorites were when he talked about his former teammate Chael Sonnen fighting Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title, Alistair Overeem getting a title shot when he returns from his failed drug test suspension and the future of Strikeforce and, specifically, one of their lightweight prospects Ryan Couture.
Randy said that he was “not terribly surprised,” that Chael got the TUF coaching gig opposite Jones and a promised title shot. “This is a business and Chael Sonnen is going to bring it and hype up any single fight that he’s in.”
Couture also believes that Chael has a fighting chance against Jones, if he can employ the right game plan.
(Whenever Rampage grabs his nuts in public, there will always be at least one man in the background, staring at his ass with an intense mixture of sadness and longing.)
Not that he ever had real evidence of the UFC trying to sabotage him as he’s implied many times — in between saying that the organization and Dana White saved his life, of course — but it is now official that the UFC does just about all it can to promote and give Quinton “Rampage” Jackson opportunities.
Jackson has publicly maintained that he wants to fight just one more time for the UFC because he hasn’t received enough respect from them or gotten match-ups that he likes. Even as he apparently readies to leave the organization he was light heavyweight champion of, it turns out that the UFC offered Jackson a role as team coach on TUF 17, opposite of Chael Sonnen, before they offered current champ Jon Jones the job, which he accepted. Jackson, of course, turned down the chance to coach TUF for a second time and to fight Sonnen at the end of the season.
“Forget TUF,” Jackson told MMAFighting.com yesterday. “I’m not interested in that.”
What, exactly, is Jackson interested in these days? Evidently not money, big fights or increased exposure? Oh yeah, Jackson has continually said that he wants “exciting” fighters.
“I don’t want to fight Chael. He’s the kind of fighter that I don’t want to fight. He’s a boring fighter that just wants to hump people.”
UFC light heavyweight Vinny Magalhaes, his spiritual leader Eddie Bravo and middleweight light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen should just go ahead and form a trolling-themed old-school pro wrestling stable with one another already. Chael’s verbal and written nonsense are well documented, as is Bravo’s weed-induced outlandish comedy/self-promotion.
For his part, Vinny has shown every indication that he’s learned a lot from both of them after studying Jiu Jitsu with Bravo and being in camp with Chael. The Brazilian is no stranger to going on The Underground and writing attention-grabbing posts that are often tongue in cheek.
Ahead of helping Sonnen prepare for his recently announced April title fight against Jon Jones, however, Vinny has turned up the troll volume. In a recent interview with Aaron Tru, Vinny managed to insult Jones and Vitor Belfort, as well as back down from a recent twitter request of his to fight Phil Davis. Check out Tru’s video interview for the Davis back-tracking and more. Here’s a choice nugget where Magalhaes professes his undying faith in Chael Sonnen’s submission abilities (?):
Believe it or not, Potato Nation, but there was a brief moment in time when Chael Sonnen was supposed to rematch Forrest Griffin in his return to the light heavyweight division at UFC 155. You might not remember it due to the fact that upon announcing his change in weight class, Sonnen almost immediately skipped over Griffin to set his sights on Jon Jones, a decision that proved ultimately fruitful. Surprisingly, FoGriff seemed at least partially relieved not to be fighting that “boring” Sonnen fellow, but when he is made aware that he’s now been called out by Antonio “Lil’ Nog” Nogueira because of it, we imagine he’s going to wish he could still fight the middleweight wrestler with no KO power and poor submission defense who he has already beaten.
One thing you might recall is that Griffin and Nog were set to meet way back at UFC 114 before a shoulder injury forced the TUF 1 winner out of the contest. Griffin was replaced by Jason Brilz, who turned in one of the most respectable losses in UFC, nay, MMA history that night, coming up just short by way of split decision. Since then, Lil’ Nog has gone 1-2, dropping a pair of UD’s to wrestlers Ryan Bader and Phil Davis before beating the poop out of Tito Ortiz at UFC 140. Griffin is also coming off a win over “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” (I refuse to acknowledge this “People’s Champ” nonsense), albeit by another close decision in their trilogy-completing/Ortiz-retiring match at UFC 148.
TUF 17 coachesJon Jones and Chael Sonnen, along with UFC president Dana White and FX exec Chuck Saftler, hosted a media conference call yesterday in which they promoted the upcoming season and fielded questions from baffled reporters. It was a lively affair, marked by an unusually aggressive Jon Jones — Chael tends to bring that out of people — and some interesting revelations about the future of The Ultimate Fighter. Here are some highlights…
FX is moving TUF off Friday nights, and preparing for a war with Spike: “The show is going to move off of Friday nights,” Saftler said. “I can’t confirm the day right now, but it’s definitely moving off of Friday, it’s definitely moving to a weekday. There will be an announcement on that somewhere in the next 30 to 45 days. But I will say that Spike should watch their ass. Spike clearly has been dogging us for most of this year…by trying to create viewer confusion and scheduling old episodes against ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and trying to pass them off as new content. They’ll be off of the UFC game effective in January. They’re going to try to launch a new product, there’s going to try to launch their own reality show that competes with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ or does a very similar thing with their Bellator product. We watched how they behaved, and we’re well aware of their behavior and how they’ve acted competitively…I’m not ready to commit to (scheduling TUF directly against the Bellator show on Spike), but we’re certainly going to be watching how they schedule, what they schedule and where they schedule.”
Jones vs. Sonnen “made sense,” according to Dana White: “Basically, we got the word when Jon went out and got his elbow checked, that he was out and couldn’t come back until April,” White explained. “So it made sense* for him to do The Ultimate Fighter. Why block up [the division]? Machida can fight. Dan Henderson can fight. Gustafsson and Shogun are going to fight in December. Everything will keep right on moving…These guys will both coach The Ultimate Fighter. They’ll fight when the season’s over, and then whoever’s next in line at 205 pounds can fight Jon Jones** next for the title.”
(This fan-made hype video was first posted to YouTube on September 30th. Wow. CletusDamVan must have read The Secret.)
Ugh, you guys, I had the worst dream last night. I was at home, but it was actually the house I grew up in, you know? I was watching TV, and suddenly all the lights went out. Dana White walked in through the back door. He told me — and here’s the freaky part — that Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen would be coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, and they’d actually be fighting for the light-heavyweight belt in April. I was like, “Why? Why are you doing this?” And he said, “Because I fucking hate you.” And when he said that, I realized it wasn’t Dana White, it was my own father. Then, my teeth started cracking and falling out one by one, and-OH MY GOD NO! AHHHHHHHH! THIS CAN’T HAPPEN! THIS CAN’T HAPPEN! [scene]
Look, we’re not alone in our utter distaste for this booking. Elsewhere on the Internet, pundits have called Jones vs. Sonnen (vs. TUF) a thinly-veiled money grab that reeks of desperation and sets a horrible precedent. But this matchup is now our reality, and we have to deal with reality on reality’s terms. Here’s a sample of the fallout and news updates that yesterday’s bombshell kicked up:
- Tweet of the Day, from Dan Henderson: “I guess I should just quit training to win fights and to be exciting for the fans and just go to shit talking school. @danawhite”. Dan and Chael might be bros from way back, but that clearly doesn’t make this news any easier for Hendo to swallow. It’s insulting, really. Henderson is still the most rightful challenger to Jones’s belt, but an ill-timed injury has apparently put him on the UFC’s “pay no mind” list. Don’t make us say it.
This is madness, pure and simple. Let’s look past the fact that Chael Sonnen has not fought at light heavyweight since his UFC debut way back at UFC 55, or the fact that he was supposed to fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 155, or that he is just coming off a loss to Anderson Silva, or that there is at least one legitimate contender in line before him, or that Dana White just got through telling us that the winner of Shogun/Gustafsson would likely receive the next title shot. Actually, we can’t look past any of that. In no alternate universe does this matchup make sense.
(It’s pretty obvious who takes the “Cooler Hairstyle” category.)
It’s time for some real talk, Potato Nation. Stephan Bonnar is booking a one-way train ticket to Painsville Station on Saturday night and Anderson Silva is the conductor. I know it, you know it, the bookies know it, and your mom knows it (I asked her last night. Say hi to her for me, alright?). Matter of fact, if “The American Psycho” is simply able to come away from the fight in the same state of matter he began it in, everyone watching will unquestionably declare his performance a win for America, the UFC, and perhaps even the Caucasian race.
But this fight is about more than who’s accomplished what or who holds what title or who may or may not have lost to a decrepit Mark Coleman. There are several x-factors at play here, and when we decided to match up Stephan Bonnar and Anderson Silva for one of our infamous head to head sessions, the results might surprise you. Let’s get started.
Bonnar: 6’3″, walks around at roughly 235 lbs, 80 inch reach
Silva: 6’2″, walks around at roughly 215 lbs, 77.5 inch reach