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Chael Sonnen gets his wish, will fight Jon Jones after the two face off as coaches on TUF 17

A week out from UFC 151, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones declined to fight Chael Sonnen as a replacement for the injured Dan Henderson based on the lack of preparation time. When the smoke cleared, the card was cancelled and Jones ended up defeating Vitor Belfort at UFC 152, having explained he didn’t feel Sonnen deserved a fight with him. All that has changed now as the two 205ers have been selected to coach the Ultimate Fighter 17 with a match-up scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.

The two will lead teams of middleweights on the upcoming run of episodes before squaring off against each other on April 27.

“This should be a good one,” said UFC President Dana White after telling the LA Times about the development.  “Jon has accepted the fight. He knows the fans want to see that fight.”

In Jones’ bout against Belfort, the veteran Brazilian came close to submitting him via Armbar, though “Bones” toughed the hold out and eventually escaped. After the fight, Jones said he thought he may be injured, though he has since learned he won’t need surgery on the limb but rather extended time to do physical therapy. White noted that this was part of the reason Jones was booked for TUF.

White also revealed the change in plans means Sonnen will NOT fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 155 as originally expected. No replacement has been announced. The king of trash-talk is coming off his UFC 148 loss to Anderson Silva, opting to move up to light heavyweight where new challenges await.

The show is set to start filming in the coming weeks with a January debut planned. The UFC will hold a conference call with Jones/Sonnen on Wednesday (and Five Ounces of Pain will be on the line, relaying highlights back to readers as it goes down).


  • THEGUNNER says:

    Sonnen should be funny as hell.

  • MickeyC says:

    Its gona get nasty. Chael will have an hour a week to update his shit talk. Is gona be insane. Jones has shown that people can get under his skin, and that public opinion of himself matters to himself. Sonnen will feed on that. I think in the long run Bones will beat his ass bit the gangster will have some fun till then.

  • raker says:

    Aldo-Edgar TUF…. Let Jones heal and fight the winner of Hendo-Machida. Jones needs to take a break so the LHW division can refresh itself.

  • raker says:

    Aldo-Edgar TUF…. Let Jones heal and fight the winner of Hendo-Machida. Jones needs to take a break so the LHW division can replenish itself.

  • raker says:

    How the eff did that happen? Sorry for the
    double post

  • Creature says:

    Well if the UFC is worried about its ratings.. I think they just solved their problem, it is going to be one hectic season if you ask me

  • Richard Stabone says:

    The trio of Urijah Faber, Chael Sonnen & Frank Mir are a combined 0-10* in their last 10 title fights.


    *Dates back to WEC days in Faber’s case

  • Lord Faust says:

    Please tell me they’re not drawing from the same exhausted talent pool, provided by managers they already know. I’m not asking a lot here.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Nick Diaz vs. Anderson Silva for the MW belt in early 2013….do it, Dana!

    The fans want to see that f*cking fight!

  • Angry Mike says:

    A fight with Jones? Time for Chael to get a nickname. It has to be “speed bag.”

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    In a perfect world this would inspire Anderson Silva to change his tune on Jones since he allowed Sonnen to jump Machida as far as contendership goes.

  • Niv says:

    Ok, the UFC is fast tracking itself to be a joke with these title shot decisions.

    What exactly has Sonnen done to receive this title shot? I mean now that other viable true LHW fighters have time for a full training camp, Machida, Shogun, Hendo when he’s healed, maybe a guy like Gustafsson, but Sonnen? Wow that’s plain garbage in my books.

    Of course Silva would be the number one choice for almost anyone but I don’t see that fight happening either.

    Anyhow I’m sure the hype train will kick in full force and people will actually believe he stands a chance here.

    I can guarantee you this will be a fight I won’t pay to see.

  • adamsfamily says:

    I like to watch both jbj and sonnen fight, and I will be honest I have a soft spot for ‘circus’ matchups too, but this all points to the UFC starting to struggle financially.
    They have pushed their brand to the limit at this time I think, and probably invested so much at a time when available credit wherever it comes from is now more expensive.
    The jbj silva fight will inevitably happen but they are saving it for a really rainy day, Cormier is obviously their next star they want to cultivate carefully, and sonnen is their sellable commodity for maybe 2 fights max. Unless he wins..

    All good stuff for the new fans and guilty pleasure for us though we realise that ranking really means fuck all in this climate, but hey a business gotta do what a business got do..

    Sounds a bit like boxing though doesn’t it.

  • To be fair to chael, Paulo filho missed weight for that last fight and sonnen whooped his ass pretty handily. Not his fault
    this is absolute shit though. On the plus side, this’ll get Jon back to fighting three times a year.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    this is a bad pr move for jones since he cant eep his ego/2nd coming of christ complex in check. everyone is just going to hate on him more. specially since he will bring Jackson to do all the real coaching

  • moosebaby02 says:


  • moosebaby02 says:

    I meant Keep. Cant type today

  • redwire says:

    First, I hate it when a belt is kept on hold because of TUF, but I guess Jones was going to take this time off anyway, so it’s a wash.

    It will be fascinating to see who is more hated by the time this TUF winds up. The loud mouthed, but admittedly very entertaining braggart Sonnen, or the “I think I’m great, why don’t you?” Champ.

    I say Sonnen wins that battle easily. Look for Chael to parlay this into something bigger than a UFC broadcaster’s role. Reality show host? Radio personality? Dick Clark’s replacement every New Years Eve? Who knows, but this will be his big chance at ‘stardom’.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I think Sonnen will do his best to come off like the good coach concerned about his students and bury Jones and his efforts as often as possible…

  • Lord Faust says:

    “If you’re not interested in seeing these two guys lock horns every week, see a free fight between two guys who probably still live at home, and then get a TITLE FIGHT on PPV, then I don’t want your money. You’re not a fight fan.” –what I expect to hear from Dana White over the next few weeks.


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