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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Chael Sonnen, Jon Jones to fight, coach on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

After all the drama surrounding the cancelation of UFC 151 because of Jon Jones’ refusal to fight Chael Sonnen on short notice, the UFC finally has the fight it wanted. UFC President Dana White told the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire that Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones will serve as coaches for the third edition of “The Ultimate Fighter” on FX, and then fight in April.

The show is set to begin shooting in two weeks, with the “TUF” finale in April.

“This should be a good one,” White said of matching arguably his organization’s best fighter against its top personality. “Jon has accepted the fight. He knows the fans want to see that fight.”

Jones’ fight date is not for six months because he needs some time off to recover from the arm injury suffered in a win over Vitor Belfort last month.

As embarrassed as Dana White was to cancel the entire UFC 151 card, he has to be feeling almost the opposite now. Jones’ talent combined with Sonnen’s personality and ability to trash talk should not only send ratings for “TUF” sky-rocketing, but they should also produce excellent pay-per-view buy numbers. The organization will also have several months to properly promote the fight, unlike the UFC 151 card which would have been organized on short notice.

It truly seems like this is a middle ground between Jones and the UFC, and a sign that the two sides are repairing their relationship. And you know that Sonnen is dying for this; he’s been steadily baiting Jones over Twitter for the last several months, even sending the note below a few weeks ago over Twitter:

Get ready for several months of this from Sonnen. The April fight also means the scheduled Sonnen-Forrest Griffin fight for UFC 155 in December is off.

Jon Jones apologizes for UFC 151 debacle; Dana White rips him, Jackson
Jon Jones: Chael Sonnen is a ‘punk, thug’

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