Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen to coach 'Ultimate Fighter,' fight April 27 By Lance Pugmire
October 16, 2012, 12:05 p.m. Jon Jones didn't want to fight Chael Sonnen on a week's notice, but now the Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion will be subjected to perhaps a crueler fate:
Spending weeks on end around the quick-witted, in-your-face title contender.
UFC President Dana White told The Times on Tuesday that Jones and Sonnen have been assigned as opposing coaches in the third installment of "The Ultimate Fighter" on FX, creating some extensive pre-fight hype for their April 27 pay-per-view title match at a site to be determined.
"The Ultimate Fighter" with Jones and Sonnen is set to begin shooting on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas, with a debut in early January as young middleweights participate in a tournament that leads up to an April "TUF" finale at the Vegas Hard Rock Hotel, where the winner will receive a multi-fight UFC contract.
"This should be a good one," White said of matching arguably his organizationís best fighter against its top personality. "Jon has accepted the fight. He knows the fans want to see that fight."
The April fight date for the two was necessary, White said, because Jones was examined by a doctor in Los Angeles two weeks ago and it was discovered that his right arm, twisted badly in a Sept. 22 bout, had been injured and will require physical therapy and a layoff from mixed martial arts.
Jones, in consultation with trainer Greg Jackson, angered UFC leaders in August by resisting the organization's push to insert Sonnen as a replacement fighter for injured title challenger Dan Henderson of Temecula.
White was beside himself, asking why Jones couldn't take the bout despite having a full training camp while Sonnen was willing to challenge less than two months after a middleweight title loss and with extremely limited preparation time.
For the first time in the organization's history, the UFC took the dramatic step of scrapping its entire Sept. 1 card at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. White called the incident "an all-time low."
Jones, 25, ultimately accepted the Sept. 22 title defense against veteran Vitor Belfort in Toronto and, after surviving the first-round armbar episode, claimed victory by fourth-round submission.
In declining to face Sonnen in August, Jones (17-1) explained that he wasn't fully comfortable risking the belt against the 35-year-old skilled wrestler with a relentless, attacking style that nearly allowed him to upset middleweight champion Anderson Silva in 2010.
Sonnen (28-12-1) and Silva fought again July 7 in Las Vegas, and Sonnen dominated Silva in the first round, getting atop the champion but failing to deliver painful blows.
Silva quickly rallied in the second, retaining the belt he's owned since 2006 by dropping Sonnen with punches and finishing him by technical knockout with blows that included a knee to the chest.
Predictably, Sonnen has chastised Jones to reporters and on his Twitter account for ducking out of the Sept. 1 challenge.
In August, Sonnen tweeted to Jones: "I know you will never fight me. Don't be afraid. But I'll always be the monster in the closet of your mind, little JJ." After Jones' win over Belfort, Sonnen reminded him: "Iím not going anywhere Johnny!!"
Last week, Sonnen revealed the dialogue that was happening between camps by noting: "You donít give. I TAKE. Remembah that, Bonesie-boy."
Sonnen's ability to penetrate his opponent's psyche emerged in the Silva rematch, with the normally peaceful champion vowing to break the challenger's teeth, arms and legs.
------- It's incredible how the people that know the least are the first to offer advice.
5. "Weeks of Chael cutting promos and/or trolling leading up to his executio..." In response to Reply # 0
I honestly wish they would just drop TUF already and replace it with a weekly fight show with some low level guys on the roster. They're no longer putting their best prospect talent on the show so we basically have house hijinks featuring guys who except for maybe one or two will be gone within 3 or 4 fights in the organization.
10. "This is smart...because it sets up Silva vs. Jones for the fall" In response to Reply # 8
Great ratings, Chael is gonna get beat, but what if he lasts three rounds with Jones???? Now you have the intrigue of who is the best P4P....and then the onus is on both Silva and Jones to fight at the end of the summer or september of next year.
And btw, what are Chael's two losses??? Need I say more? This was a really sound move by Dana. It also gives him a year to start sorting through who is going to be next in the Middleweight division post-Silva. If Silva wins vs GSP and JJ, he retires as the P4P, and JJ gets some new folks to challenge in a year or so.
16. "Sure hope there is some kind of format adjustment" In response to Reply # 0
The first ep of this season that I watched, the fight was in the middle of the show. Seemed like they showed more training vs house nonsense, but still the shit is stale.
Everybody's got opinions on the way you're living but see they can't fill your shoes... Life is made of half-illusions... forty percent confusion, whatever's left I'm using... to keep myself from losing, yeah.
21. "I dont know" In response to Reply # 20 Thu Feb-28-13 02:34 PM by RobOne4
TUF guys have always gone to UFC events even when they werent in the finals. I remember when I went to UFC 59 half of that seasons cast was there signing autographs and taking pics. The season was still airing.
November 8th, 2005 The greatest night in the history of GD!
18. "this is my favorite season so far" In response to Reply # 0
just the way it is shot. FX is murdering Spike right now. I dont know if its the fact that this seasons batch of fighters is more mature. Or if FX is just choosing to ignore most of the house bullshit. But it seems the focus is the fights and each guys story. Also it looks like a Countdown to the UFC show the way it is shot. Damn good season.
November 8th, 2005 The greatest night in the history of GD!