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UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen Aftermath, Part One — Jobber to the Stars


Yep. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

It’s almost unfair to write about the light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen from last night’s UFC 159 right now, since we won’t know whether or not this fight delivered what it was supposed to for a long time. I’m not writing about the way that Jon Jones effortlessly defeated Chael Sonnen; we knew Sonnen was absolutely no threat to the light-heavyweight kingpin. I’m not writing about how Jones completely ignored his vastly superior striking and ridiculous reach advantage in order defeat “the gangster from West Linn” by impersonating him; we sort-of predicted that Jones would clown his way through this fight. We knew that the main event was going to deliver a lopsided beat-down. It’s yet to be seen how – or even if – the marketability of Jon Jones will benefit as a result.

That being said, it’s hard to expect the superfight we never asked for to have much of an effect on the way that fans perceive Jones. I didn’t think it was possible to feel as apathetic about a first round knockout as I felt after last night’s main event. Judging by the comments I’ve read on our liveblog, I’m hardly alone here. When it was over, the match felt more like a bad professional wrestling storyline than a UFC pay-per-view main event, and the outcome felt just as forced.

It’s common in professional wrestling to take an extremely talented, yet laughably uncharismatic grappler who struggles to connect with the fans, match him up against a natural heel with the gift of the gab and have the heel irritate fans with his outlandish behavior to the point that they’ll cheer on his opponents by default. This is done under the assumption that when the champion defeats the heel, he’ll reach a new level of respect among the fans. The thing is, this tactic only works when the guy annoying everyone is actually perceived as a legitimate threat to the champion. Chael Sonnen – an aging middleweight also-ran coming off of a loss in his last fight - never had this going for him; something that even the UFC seemed to openly acknowledge. As we saw last night, when the challenger is more of a nuisance than a contender, it’s hard to feel too enthusiastic about the champion’s victory.

Speaking of “things that felt forced,” Dana White seemed to imply during the post-event press conference that Anderson Silva called him requesting Jon Jones as a future opponent. Before you get too excited, remember two things. Number one, that Dana White never actually gave the name of the fighter who Anderson Silva requested. And number two, that Jon Jones has already explained why this fight will never happen.

For what it’s worth, Jones suggested Alexander Gustafsson should be his next opponent, but since Jones is out indefinitely due to the broken toe that he suffered last night, we’ll have to wait and see.

And as for Chael Sonnen? How serious he is about retirement will probably depend on whether or not he can talk his way into another high-profile bout. If he can line one up, then don’t be surprised to see him back in the cage. If not, he may very well decide to hang up the gloves for good. Immediate announcements of retirement after a loss in this sport are rarely permanent. I doubt that will change when someone as unpredictable as Chael Sonnen is involved.

@SethFalvo

See Also: UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen Aftermath, Part Two — These Tired Eyes

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cahutyzuqys- April 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm
what Herbert responded I'm blown away that any one can get paid $8936 in 1 month on the internet. have you seen this site... www.ask22.com
snoop dog shit- April 29, 2013 at 10:14 am
@dipset-Yep, that's pretty much what I said in the last sentence of my earlier post. I completely agree that Jones was destroying Sonnen and would have destroyed him in any subsequent rematches, but the build up would have been awesome to watch because Sonnen would have been carrying Jones' belt. It wouldn't have proven a damn thing and the reffing still sucked.
Get Off Me- April 29, 2013 at 5:41 am
Chael was an ideal heel, it is simply the level that he operated on that mny do not recognize. Chael was more of an IRS than Hollywood Hogan if you want to draw comparisons to WWF. Chael was not a jobber, but a low tier character used as a stepping stone for Jones in this instance. When Chael's act first started, I said right away that regardless of the fans who liked it, the sustainability would lie in Chael's success in his fights(Muhammed Ali would not have been remembered to this day if he had never won a belt and defended it against the best). With the PPV numbers set to be released we will now see how much of a "draw" Chael is without Silva next to his name on the marquis. Dana booked this fight because "the fans wanted it" so saying that this fight was not what the fans wanted may be false(even if I agree with you) but once again the numbers of PPV sales will bring clarity shortly.
Walrus- April 28, 2013 at 11:50 pm
I know someone mentioned it a couple of days earlier,b ut did Chael Sonnen bang your mother?

It seems that your pain from the incident clouds your judgement on how to appropriately ackknowledge the aftermath of a PPV.

Try to be a professional. I know this site has been going downwards in the past couple years, but there's no reason you gave to be part of it.
megustav- April 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm
Actually, a reporter asked Dana if the fighter Anderson wanted to fight was one of either St. Pierre or Jones, to which Dana replied "yeah"
CWill859- April 28, 2013 at 7:29 pm
I say, as posted earlier, let Machida and Gustaffson fight while JBJ's toe heals. And if Gustaffson emerges victorious, then we have ourselves a mildly interesting scrap right there. But the Silva/Jones fight needs to happen. There's much $ on the table for it not to. Besides, its not like we have many other suitable contenders at 205.
Mr_Misanthropy- April 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm
The card wasn't THAT bad. The Miller/ Healy fight was good, there were some entertaining scraps on the undercard, Kongo got dicknailed while throwing a nut shot, and although the refereeing sucked coagulated donkey semen and there were a bunch of bizarre injuries at least it was strange and different. I wouldn't necessarily want to pay $60 but I'm getting used to this new card model where the exciting fights kind of build through the undercard, peak somewhere in the middle of the main card, and then abruptly decline for the co-main and main events. It's just enough disappointment to let you off the hook without being all wound up and craving more.
dipsetkilla316- April 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm
@snoopdogshit wat would that prove. Nothing jon would have got a rematches and destroyed him then. If that's wat ur into then way watch mma, cause it seems that u don't care who's good or not u just want ur boys to win the belt, even if its through complete bs Technicality
Hill-Billy- April 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Man...

I watched the card and yeah, not much to talk about in the main event and yeah the bisping win wasn't anything to write home about but dayum... I will never tire of watching huge, perfectly chiseled athletes get chopped down by fat mullet-headed scraggly Roy Nelson.

He must have known that the only chance he had of leaving the octagon without a ruptured testicle was to put Congo away early.

I still think he needs to beat a real top contender before he gets a title fight but if he gets it, yeah give him a title fight for sure.
RwilsonR- April 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm
Jones could have saved us all a lot of trouble, done this 9 months ago on short notice, and probably kept his toe intact at the time.
snoop dog shit- April 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm
I completely agree with house o' pants the stoppage was early. Now I am definitely NOT saying Sonnen was going to make a miraculous comeback, but had he been given the leeway Lesnar was given he could have conceivably lasted another 30 seconds. The fight would have been stopped between rounds, and the people's champ would have won both the fight and the strap.
I guess what I'm saying is I don't like Jones much and wanted Sonnen to beat him and the refs sucked moose cock last night.
algiersheadkick504- April 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm
....imagine chael surviving the round that would have been a big shit sammich for us to all have to bite
Casa de los pantelones- April 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm
This is twice Chael has been robbed, so to speak. Whatever happened to verbally instructing the fighter that if they don't improve their position you (the ref) will stop the fight? Both fights, with Silva and now Jones, as soon as the ref did their early stoppages, Chael stood right up. He was defending, he wasn't getting Frank Mired...either fight may not have proven fruitful for him regardless, but at least give the man a chance to fight. Lesnar got 3 hours of Carwin pounding on him and the fight wasn't stopped. Chael gets 3-4 seconds of a flurry and it's stopped.
phantom151- April 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm
DANA ACTAULLY DID SAY IN THE POST FIGHT PRESS CON.... WHEN ASKED PRESSED BY A REPORTER..THAT IT IS EITHER GSP OR JJ THAT ANDERSON WAS ASKING A FIGHT WITH....ASSUMING ITS JJ SINCE HE WAS THE ONE ON THE CARD TONIGHT ONLY MAKES SENCE....BIGGEST SUPER FIGHT IN THE HISTORY OF MMA IMO O YEAH !
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