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Dana White explains thought process behind booking Jon Jones-Chael Sonnen

UFC President Dana White understood some fans wouldn’t be happy when he decided to slot light heavyweight champion Jon Jones against Chael Sonnen. However, to hear him tell it, White didn’t have a lot of options considering Jones’ need to recover from an arm injury he sustained in his September title-defense against Vitor Belfort.

“Basically, we got the word after we got his elbow checked, that he couldn’t fight until April. So, it made sense for him to do the Ultimate Fighter,” said White in a conference call with media, explaining that the time would give the organization a time to truly establish a clear-cut contender considering the possibilities currently out there. “Lyoto Machida can fight, Dan Henderson can fight, Alexander Gustafsson and (Mauricio Rua) are gonna fight in December… everything will keep right on moving.”

“It made sense. 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 for the title,” he concluded as far as the company’s approach to contendership, also pointing out that it wasn’t as if the belt was being held up until April because of TUF but rather because of Jones’ injury.

Another factor in making the match involved Jones’ desire to silence Sonnen after a stream of smack following the 25-year old’s decision to decline a bout on short notice with the outspoken grappler.

“Obviously Chael wants this fight and has been asking for this fight,” began White, mentioning the fans as well, before bringing Jones into the equation. “Jon said, ‘Listen, I can’t fight until April. I’d like to go in there and whoop Chael’s ass and then I’ll defend the belt against whoever you want me to defend the belt against.”

While Jones’ bout against Sonnen certainly pushes back his availability to put his gold up for grabs against a legitimate challenger, the well-rounded phenom has shown extreme confidence in his ability he can escape the bout with Sonnen unscathed, meaning White’s plan may just work out fine no matter what the public’s perception currently is.


  • MickeyC says:

    He said they would fight when the season is over. He then said the clear cut contender would fight jones. Is he saying that chael jones will be a non title fight or that chael has no chance of winning?

  • Richard Stabone says:

    The belt will be on the line. Dana just knows, like everyone else, Chael is completely overmatched.

  • Lord Faust says:

    We all know the real answer Dana wanted to give was “because fuck you, that’s why”.

  • Big Stank says:

    It’s real easy, let me break it down for you… $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • sides666 says:

    it will be interesting to see how chael fairs against jones on account of the fact that this will be the third opponent that silva and jones have in common.

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    “It made $ense. These guy$ will both coach the Ultimate Fighter, they’ll fight when the season’$ over, and then whoever’$ next in line at 205 pounds can fight Jon Jone$ for the title,”

    “Obviously Chael want$ thi$ fight and ha$ been asking for thi$ fight,”

    Fixed that for ya, Dana.

  • stone says:

    I havent watched a TUF season in years… I WILL NOW… It will be entertaining, to say the least

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I havnt watched an ultimate fighter series in years…and wont be watching this one either.

    Dana White and the UFC have prostituted a sport.

    Im not saying that the sport of MMA has come from any kind of a pure start but what I am saying is that the UFC has an obligation to become more than the past and create a legitimacy for the sport instead of dragging it back down all the time.
    This kind of thing along with things such as Kimbo Slice and out of shape former boxing champions as main events do not seem to damage the sport of MMA as the $$$$$ keep coming in but they do indeed damage the SPORT of MMA. Do you ever see such rubbish in any other sport that hasnt been corrupted like MMA or to a lesser extent (imo) boxing?

    Dana White is a liar. No question about it. He says things that are not true becuz it benifits his purpose. The question for me has always been… what is his purpose? Is it the growth of MMA as he claims? Maybe its the growth of the UFC but it is def not the growth of MMA outside of the UFC, that is for sure becuz they kill it and negatively portray it whenever they can. Is Danas goal to make money for himself and his partners at all costs? Ladies and gentleman, I give you Sonnen vs Jones.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Sorry but the fans wanted this and now they got it. Sure this is a bullshit fight and its all about money and ratings for the company but that’s what goal is……isn’t it???? If you dont understand that then well I have no sympathy for you cause this is all nothing but COMMON SENSE. If the UFC as a company wasn’t trying to make money and build up their product then I would feel cheated and not happy…and as of right now IM HAPPY

  • moosebaby02 says:

    For the record
    ANY and I mean ANY company thats in the entertainment business is ALWAYS prostituting their product. Thats also is common sense

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    The fans may want to see Jones fight a chimpanzee but that doesnt mean the UFC should corrupt itself to indulge the masses.
    Heres some common sense for you. Whos goal is it to make money for the UFC? Yours? The fighters? Any fans?…the sports?
    If you read my post and use some common sense I was saying that it was Danas goal to make money for himself and his partners, but at what cost to fans of the SPORT of MMA, not the circus that pops its ugly head up and (imo) brings the sport closer to WWE and further from the legitimacy of NBA, MLB, NHL etc.
    So the NBA would be willing to put a popular team in the finals despite the fact that they dont deserve it? So for the record, your comment is not valid in the slightest. If the legit sports start dismissing win and losses you may have a point but for now, YOU DONT.
    Its an entertaining sport, not sports entertainment. Now thats COMMON SENSE.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    In the big tennis events they should just gather everyone together and the public should vote for who is in the final.
    It entertainment after all and really a serious sport.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I mean seriously. My post was all about how Danas interests were making money and not the legitimacy of the sport and you pipe and say…exactly that. Well thanks for telling me what I just said but whats this about common sense?
    Sports DONT prostitute themselves at any cost.
    The UFC is the odd one out.
    Last I checked, to get a shot in an OLYMPIC, NBA, NHL, Champions League, PGA win you had to earn it. In the UFC you dont. All of those sports or companies are entertainment and ALL are watched more than the UFC.
    Get it?
    Not only does the UFC GIVE title shots to unworthy opponents, it GIVES contracts to “athletes” based on popularity. What other sport does that? Shouldnt you have to earn it, LIKE 99% of all other sports? I would have thought that was common sense too.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Not having to earn title shots is 100% bullshit.
    It undermines the sports legitimacy.
    Its unfair.
    Its going to backfire BIGTIME.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Major sports organizations do in fact try to create (force) entertaining results by creating a seasonal schedule that has teams matching up against regional/ divisional rivals during the season to boost ratings and promote the sport… there’s rematches in the start of the seasons against the teams who were divisional or finals champions/ challengers in the season prior…. If they just randomly or blindely picked a schedule it would be far more “sport” then “entetainment” but there is a balance and as businessmen the owners and organizers have to profit and continue to find ways to grow the sport even if it means manually creating match ups to generate preseason or opening day buzz…. In the past sports have also amended there rules to make the sport more enjoyable for the fans and or to accomadate network & advertising logistics.

    MMA is not a team sport so it’s a bit easier to make fun fights, freak shows and or give a branded competitor a title shot that isn’t warrented by skillset but rather by marketability.

    MMA will NEVER be the NFL or the NBA so MMA fans need to get over it & move on.
    If boxing which is an olympic sport & a universally understood and highly viewed combat sport isn’t in the same boat as the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL then how in the world would MMA be able to get there in this short of time?!?… maybe in another 15 years… maybe.

    MMA fans are some of the most passionate fans in the world but also some of the most unrealistic.

    I can’t even watch professional MMA live and in person in NY, a city that gives their major sports teams new stadiums and tax breaks and supports every sport due to the major revenue the sports teams bring in…NY may be the minority but if the financial capital of the world doesn’t think very much of what MMA could bring to a big city then just how much does MMA really mean to the mainstream?

    Die hard fans sometimes forget that we the diehards aren’t the majority… maybe on the forumns and the internet but not in the live events or the PPV buys.

  • southpaw1974 says:

    Dana “gives the fans the fights they want to see” when the fight doesn’t involve two superstars, which would result in one of the superstars taking a loss. It’s very similar to the way that Floyd Mayweather claims to be a people’s champion and fight guys who call him out like Ricky Hatton. When Floyd is “retired” or “on vacation” and a boxer who he knows he can defeat calls him out he runs to make the fight, but when a fighter that he deems as a major threat to his 0 calls him out, he is “retired” or “on vacation” or “he doesn’t have enough of a fan base” or “he has lost already”. Dana has yet to deliver one fucking super fight to the fans. Not one! Lesnar/Fedor…nope. Silva/GSP…nope. Silva/Jones…nope. There have been great fights involving aging legends like Liddell, W. Silva, Henderson, etc but not one superfight between two guys who are still at the top of their game. The only thing that was strange is how Dana handled the whole Brock Lesnar situation. Brock was his #1 cash cow and he threw him to the wolves from day one. Even after Brock won the title he forced him to fight monsters off of long layoffs and major surgery with no tune up. I will go to my grave baffled at those decisions. Maybe he knew that Brock didn’t want to be in the sport long term. Who knows?

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    They dont automatically put the teams in the final Rece. All sports alter the draw but 99% of those sports dont give title shots without earning it.
    Diehard fans are not the majority in NFL but Im pretty sure you have to earn a shot at the superbowl right?
    Oh but thats a team sport. Well lets look at every single sport that has legitimacy where 1 athlete is involved….hey would you look at that IN ALL OF THEM YOU MUST EARN YOUR SHOT.
    Not in the UFC.
    Perhaps the OLYMPICS and NY would be more interested in MMA if the UFC was more interested in legitimacy.
    Please dont defenf the UFC for bringing the sport down and if you dont think its bringing the sport down answer this. Whats better for MMA (not the UFC), legitimate title contention or just whoever is popular?
    Im here to tell you that sports make you earn honours for a reason.
    The reason the UFC is doing this is for their pockets at the cost of the sport legitimacy.
    Have you ever not been on the UFCs side?
    Geez I cant believe some people.
    Im sure that SF is better off now ZUFFA has purchased it too right? And its a really good thing they stopped Fedor vs Couture also.
    MMA will NEVER be taken seriously this way and this sort of thing should be in the past

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Rece, do you think title shots should be earned or not?

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    FFS MMA-Logic. take a big, deep breath. Once again if you hate the UFC like you seem to everytime something doesn’t go your way. JUST DON”T FUCKING WATCH.

    See, was that so hard?

    Rece is right in saying EVERY sport tries for max entertainment value no matter what. I really don’t see it as a big deal.

    One reason Brock Lesnar never fought Fedor was simple: Fedor refused to sign with UFC. Case closed. End of story. I’m sure if Dana said to Brock he was fighting Fedor and he would get paid his standard 300k it would have happened.

    Dana never forced Lesnar to fight big name fights coming off injury. Lesnar is on record saying he WANTED those fights and REFUSED tune up fights. If you are unhappy about that, don’t blame Dana.

    Reason we haven’t seen GSP/Silva? The whole super fight talk didn’t start gaining support until after GSP schooled Kos that last time. Then Jake Shields got handled easily and then the buzz started to get loud and then GSP got injured.

    GSP has been on the shelf for over a year and has been in no shape to fight Silva even if he wanted to. He has Carlos Condit next and if he gets past him look for GSP/Diaz to happen in late spring/early summer.

    I really hope we can get past all the sky is falling nonsense about Jones/Sonnen. I never got a call from Dana asking how I would run the UFC and I doubt any of the rest of you did either.

    I just don’t understand why this one fight is such a horrible, awful thing.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Mad_Hatter_XX says:
    “I just don’t understand why this one fight is such a horrible, awful thing.”

    Cause the UFC did it and everyone with any “Logic” can tell you nothing good never ever come out of the UFC

    Now I will sit back and have the same Logical person keep proving Common Sense right

  • moosebaby02 says:

    nothing good would ever come out of the UFC.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Rece is right in saying EVERY sport tries for max entertainment value no matter what. I really don’t see it as a big deal.

    Like the UFC with TUF, the NFL has their own reality show (Hard Knocks) that is also struggling for ratings. They’ve had an increasingly difficult time convincing a big name team to sign on to go thru the hassle of the reality show stuff. This season they ended up with the Miami Dolphins, with a no-name rookie QB and a team that is both crappy & uninteresting.

    So why wouldn’t the NFL guarantee the Cowboys or Broncos (w/ Peyton Manning) or Jets (w/ Tim Tebow) a spot in the playoffs in exchange for doing the reality show? The NFL would reap the benefits of better ratings on the reality show (MONEY!!!) and better ratings for at least one playoff game (MORE MONEY!!!) with that big-ticket team.

    So maybe it’s not fair to suggest that EVERY sport tries to maximize enterainment value & revenue “no matter what.” Perhaps some pro sports leagues feel that the legitimacy of the sport is a more important variable in the overall equation.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I’m just going to ask, who woke up Logic? He’s been gone for awhile, and now he’s back.


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