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TUF 17 Conference Call Real Time Highlights with Jon Jones/Chael Sonnen

Yesterday the UFC announced the Ultimate Fighter 17 is slated to feature light heavyweight heavyweight champion Jon Jones and outspoken grappler Chael Sonnen as the season’s coaches. The show will be populated by middleweight contestants with the whole thing culminating in an April 27 PPV where “Bones” will put his belt on the line against Sonnen.

Later today, the two will participate in a conference call alongside UFC President Dana White where the trio will discuss the development and upcoming duel. Things fire up at 4:00 PM EST and, as usual, Five Ounces of Pain will be on the line while relaying highlights/quotes from the festivities to our readers as they unfold in real time.

Jon Jones

-Decision has nothing to do with finances. I’m just trying to get over this chapter in my career. I think a win over Chael and Henderson will end this Sonnen invasion on my career.

-I just wanted to fight Chael with an appropriate time to train for a championship fight. I believe in every way shape or form that I will win this fight.

-Dr’s Said  shouldn’t be training for the next several months. Ill be getting hands on with fighters on the show.

– Two months ago I had the world saying I was afraid of Sonnen. I’m realistic: fans really want it. Does it delegitimize the belt? In some ways, but this has nothing to do with the belt. Chael isn’t getting close to the belt.

– Izzy Martinez will be my wrestling coach, but I will probably be bringing my original coaches that brought me up.

– Sonnen’s true talent is the gift of gab, not sports talent.

-Sonnen wasn’t a real Olympian he was an alternate. I don’t care if he takes me off . When it comes to wrestling he has nothing for me. If he takes me down so what. Im good on my back, and Chael is submitted from the top all of the time.

-I think TRT is terrible.  Everyone would hate me if I did it. it’s not right that Chael gets to take it and feel like a 20 something athlete again

Chael Sonnen

– Doing TUF is a tremendous nuisance.

– This is a 32 man tournament and its the toughest part of the sport.  The toughest tournament is coming to FX.

-I dont turn down fights, and not one of them stepped up. Welcome to life, we don’t “deserve” things – you get what you get. No one told Dana “let me fight Chael. ”

– Jon Jones is the best fighter I have seen. He has techniques that I dont even know the name of. Good for him, but he needs me.   Jones hasn’t beat anyone until he beats me. He beat that glorified Hollywood extra: Rampage.

– I’ve been on both sides of an asswhooping. Im going in there to fight, and he has only fought fighters who were timid.

– I’ll take his belt right now if I want it. He continues to beat no ones. Jon may be the guy but he isn’t yet.

– Weight doesn’t make a difference to me. I just want to fight Jon Jones. The only one de legitimize the belt is the brat holding it.

– Of course things will be off limits. I’m not picking a fight, I’ve got a fight. Jon uses terms like disrespectful, but who cares about it.

– I will take down Jon repeatedly. (Jones laughs)

Dana White

Why Chael:

– We got word Jon was hurt. It made sense for him to do TUF, and others could fight.  Jon wanted the fight, and it made sense.

– No date set for show’s premier

– Every single guy who is bitching about this had an opportunity to fight Sonnen. We will have an absolute number one contender when this is over.

– All the guys who are pissed off about this fight, turned down this fight.

–They said Henderson wouldn’t be ready for a few weeks and had to pull the trigger on this.

– There will be changes to the format.

– When Diaz gets off suspension, he’ll get a fight against a top 170-pounder.

– We start filming in October.

– Show will move off of Friday nights, a weekday. An announcement will come in the next month or so, but Spike should watch their ass.

-We have the best casting we have ever had, and we have very big expectations for the show.

– Clearly Spike has been dogging us with trying to create viewer confusion, and passing off new contnt. They will be out of  the UFC game in January, and they will do a reality in show soon.  We will remember what they did when it comes time to scheduling.

– We want to find the best place for this product to make it work. We like working with the UFC.

– I don’t want to hear any bitching out of any of you. All the top contenders we called turned down the fight with Jon Jones. Chael Sonnen was the only one who accepted the fight.

– Ratings will be epic.


  • AlphaOmega says:

    Every single guy who is bitching about this had an opportunity to fight Sonnen. We will have an absolute number one contender when this is over.

    This comment doesn’t really make sense to me. Was it suppose to be Jones and not Sonnen, or is Dana talking about something I didn’t hear about?

  • Lord Faust says:

    Dana’s told so many lies lately, I am not surprised he can’t keep them straight.

    This is Dana’s stance:

    – When we ask for a favour, it’s actually a demand.
    – If you don’t concede to our whims, you will be punished (Machida, Hendo, Evans).
    – Even if you do concede to our whims, you will be punished. (See Brenneman and Demarques Johnson)
    – If you do anything we don’t like, I’m going to throw you under a fleet of Greyhound buses. Maybe your fight camp, too.

    Basically, as a UFC employee, you are completely at the mercy of an extremely demanding, hypocritical sociopath.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    @AO – That’s just a typo. I listened to the conference call and Dana White repeatedly pointed to the fact that all the other legit contenders (minus Hendo, who was hurt) refused to fight Jones on a week’s notice, while in the next breath praising Chael as the only guy to step up. So Dana is making the leap to suggest that because of that, Chael is the guy who makes sense to put in a title fight they’re now planning 6 months in advance, and he doesn’t want to hear the other guys complain about it cuz they turned down the last minute opportunity back in September. How dare those guys make a decision in the interest of their careers as professional athletes rather than what was in the best interest of the UFC. That’s the way it works with Dana; there’s no give & take. When Dana says jump, they better f*cking leap to the sky, or deal with the consequences down the road.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Other highlights that stuck out for me:

    Dana: “Obviously Chael wants this fight and has been asking for this fight … the fans wanted this fight … 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.”

    Dana is completely taking for granted that Jones will walk thru Chael. Yet they push thru with this plan, despite having plenty of time to put together a better matchup from a rankings & competitive standpoint. So I think the discouraging part to a lot of us is that in this case the entertainment/showmanship aspects have clearly overshadowed the competition of the sport. In other words, just like Brendhan suggested in his article, MMA has (at least temporarily) crossed over to MME.

    One of the questions asked was what day of week TUF is being moved to for next season, which was fielded by some guy from FX. He’s probably really good at what he does but he went with the “Spike should watch their ass” shtick which strikes me as incredibly petty. I understand there is fierce competition between the networks, but I guess I don’t understand what purpose it serves to play the “Spike should watch their ass” card in a public forum such as this.

    Wow, Jones caught Chael with a zinger…

    Chael: “I’m gonna walk out there and I’m gonna get into a fistfight. And above everything I’m in a lot better shape than Jon or anybody else he’s fought.”

    Jones: “Now are we talkin you bein in good shape on TRT or off TRT?”

    Chael: “On TRT, Jon. You tell everybody, you let the media well, let’s move on.”

    Chael at a loss for words? Holy crap.

    And Chael commenting on Jon Jones’ accomplishments to date and the overall state of the LHW division: “He continues to act as though he’s done something impressive. Who did he ever beat? I mean c’mon it’s been a revolving door in that division. When Couture & Lidell left that division became a joke.”

    Dana responding to why they didn’t just go with Dan Henderson–the rightful #1 contender–opposite Jones for the upcoming TUF season: “I don’t even know if Dan would do TUF.”

    Um, OK. The thought didn’t occur to you? Or it was too inconvenient to contact Dan about the idea? Basically, Dana didn’t have a decent response and was testy about the question.

  • Lord Faust says:

    All this time, I’ve been vehemently hoping Jones would drop his PR-friendly act. I think he’s finally doing that, given the reactions he’s been getting from people — everyone from the fans, to guys like Chael, to even Dana himself. I think Jones has realised it’s pointless and he’s finally opening up.

    So, on that note, I think Jones came off great in the conference call. I want more of this from Jones, a lot more. Mark my words, I think Jones is going to drop the facade and clown Chael; on TV and in the cage. I’ve grown to like Chael’s schtick as of late, but let’s be clear, like pro-wrestling promos, Chael rehearses them and they’re planned. Jones, playing into the fact he IS a top talent, can easily outclass Chael in the “who can be the bigger jerk” fight too.

    Like I’ve been saying, more Muhammad Ali, less Ned Flanders. You can’t be both.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I’ll admit I kinda want to see that Faust, but I think Jones takes criticism to personally and to seriously. On twitter, or at press conferences, or over the phone he can shrug it off or get mad a little bit but not stay that way because there’s a barrier. There won’t be one at TUF, I have a feeling he will blow.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Maybe, who knows what Jones is like with the gloves off? Chael’s a tactician, but if they verbally spar anything like they fight then Jones is probably good at making things up on the fly. Just food for thought, though.


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