(“Oh, Georges, you couldn’t pull off a mean mug if you tried. Your eyes, they just have too much…soul in them.”)
You might not know this about the CagePotato writing staff, but not a one of us is a UFC-caliber fighter. Sure, Elias lays boots to asses every now and again and Goldstein once slapped Bas Rutten in public and lived to tell the tale, but none of us here at CP have ever had a situation arise where we forced to fight one of our fellow writers for the right to be called “King of the Mountain.” So maybe we’re not the correct sources to come to when discussing whether teammates in a given MMA camp should be more open to fighting one another or not. Then again, none of us (to my knowledge) have ever been busted for steroids before, yet we’re perfectly fine casting our respective opinions toward those who have, so here we go.
(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.
Dan Henderson’s knee injury and the refusal by Jon Jones to fight his chosen replacement, Chael P. Sonnen on 8 days notice, forced the first UFC event cancelation in history and the infamous Dana White conference call to announce the goings-on took the MMA world by storm. DW chastised and spewed vitriol towards JBJ’s unwillingness to step up to fight Sonnen which infuriated the UFC brass as a whole. Likewise, it enraged the Bones nuthuggers and haters who in turn inundated the CP comment section for more than a week with well-reasoned arguments but mostly sophomoric jabs involving nipples.
Now Lyoto MachidaVitor Belfort has been named JBJ’s next opponent but that is not stopping Sonnen from getting ready to fight the man that turned down his challenge. The American Gangster expects to walk to the octagon and go mano y mano with Bones next weekend.
Dana White told mmajunkie.com:
“Chael Sonnen is in full training camp right now. He’s been training since he got offered the Jones fight. He said, ‘I’m in full camp right now because Vitor will get hurt and pull out, and it will be Jones vs. Sonnen, anyway.’”
So does that mean that Henderson keeps his spot at the front of the 205-pound contender-line when he heals up? Not exactly. According to a new report from Dave Meltzer on MMAFighting, UFC president Dana White now intends to have Hendo and Machida fight each other to determine the true #1 LHW contender. The planned booking seems to be motivated at least partly by anger. As Meltzer writes:
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been derided as immature, arrogant and selfish for much of his career, especially since turning down a short-notice replacement fight against Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 after Dan Henderson dropped out due to injury. But in a recent interview with the Associated Press, Jones sounded calm, collected and measured, especially in comparison to organization president Dana White‘s comments on the situation, as he spoke about what he’s learned. He also publicly criticized White for the first time, which probably won’t help his reputation among the fans who already despise him.
“I had to do what’s right for myself by turning down that fight, Dana had to do what was right for himself by putting the blame on everyone else except for himself,” Jones told Dan Gelston of the AP. “The lesson to be learned is, at the end of the day, you have to protect yourself and your family.”
Jones told the AP that he has not yet spoken with his boss about the comments, but appears to have had his eyes opened to how quickly UFC brass and fans can turn on him. ”I think in the future, this can make me and Dana even better off,” Jones said. ”For him to get out how he felt about me in that situation, it will help me look at things more business-oriented. A lot of good can come out of it. Fighters can learn the lesson of doing what’s best for themselves and not feeling like puppets. I think the UFC has learned a lesson of making sure they stay loyal to the fans and give them full cards.”
If you can put down your haterade and suspend your disdain for just a bit today, we suggest listening to UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones discuss his decision to not fight Chael Sonnen on short notice at UFC 151, in a full-length interview with The MMA Hour. The full interview is after the jump.
Having had a week to reflect on it, and despite all the criticism that has come his way since he “murdered” this weekend’s scheduled event, Jones does not regret his choice to not fight Sonnen. “I actually think it was a really smart personal career decision,” the champ said.
Jones said that immediately after he got the offer he assembled all of his coaches to get their opinions. Jones said that while they all told him that they had “no doubt” that the light-heavyweight champ could win a fight against Sonnen, they also let it be known that the trash-talking middleweight was a totally different fighter than his original UFC 151 opponent Dan Henderson.
“They honestly believed I could win the fight. They also said, ‘I want you to be aware of the fact that you prepared for a complete opposite style.’”
These are all good’uns so if you’re in America, enjoy part of your day off by watching some of the world’s best fighters get after it. And if you don’t have the day off, get back at your employer passive aggressively by wasting a couple hours watching these on the job.