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:

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Jon Jones: Chael Sonnen is a ‘punk, thug’

Jon Jones ripped Chael Sonnen and revealed his disappointment with Dana White in his first extended interview since the UFC 151 debacle.

Jones discussed many topics with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani on Tuesday, including his negative thoughts about Chael Sonnen.

“Chael Sonnen? He’s a punk. He’s a thug,” Jones said. “He calls himself the ‘American Gangster’ and he ratted on all of his friends in the money laundering situation. And he calls himself gangster? That’s not gangster. The guys a straight punk that uses his mouth. He won’t be remembered in history because he loses. People remember in history the winners, not people with big mouths.”

Jones also called Sonnen “irrelevant,” saying, “his mouth is the only gift that he has.”

Jones notably denied the Wrestling Observer report that said he asked Dana White to have Chael Sonnen stop harassing him. He also denied that Dana White told him the entire UFC 151 card would be cancelled if he turned down his fight. That’s contrary to what White told the media on a conference call; he said Jones knew the consequences, so one of them most not be completely telling the truth.

Jones also said he was “hurt” by Dana White ripping him.

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Jon Jones reportedly asked Dana White to have Chael Sonnen stop harassing him

How much did Chael Sonnen get inside Jon Jones‘ head with all his trash talk the past few weeks? Apparently far enough to prompt an uncomfortable Jones to ask UFC president Dana White to tell Sonnen to stop. That’s according to a report from The Wrestling Observer.

The Wrestling Observer (via Bloody Elbow) reported that “Jones was very upset after Chael began calling him out and mocking him on Twitter, going as far as to contact White and ask him to tell Chael to stop.”

We have no idea if White told Sonnen to stop, but Chael’s Twitter account has been quiet since the 25th. From August 15-23 he sent 10 tweets, and all 10 were directed at Jones. He crafted some fake tweets that were intended to make them seem like they were sent from Jones to Sonnen, such as this one:

Sonnen also sent more direct tweets about Jones like this one:

Say Dana White told Sonnen to cool it, which doesn’t sound like something he would advocate since he loves when his fighters use social media to promote themselves and the sport, there’s no way he would do it again after the way Jones screwed over the UFC for UFC 151. And how is Jones’ relationship with White? He’s no longer following the UFC boss on Twitter after being ripped to shreds.

Jones is losing whatever popularity he had by the second. This is getting ugly.

UPDATE: Both Jones and White have denied the report.

Glove touch to Bloody Elbow, Cagewriter

Jon Jones last week: I would take Chael Sonnen fight in a heartbeat

Jon Jones continues to look worse and worse with every day that passes. Bloody Elbow dug up a quote from an interview Jones gave last week where he said he’d fight Chael Sonnen “in a heartbeat.”

Jones joined “The Abe Kanan Show” on SiriusXM radio last Saturday and discussed the possibility of a fight with Sonnen. Jones was adamant that Sonnen couldn’t just talk his way into a title shot because the UFC isn’t like the WWF. But Kanan began selling Jones on why fighting him would be a good idea, convincing him that he would destroy Sonnen and put the loudmouth in check.

Kanan: “Why not just take the fight, do it, and make a lot of money?”

Jones: “I totally agree, and I’m not sitting here saying that I wouldn’t take the fight. I would take the fight in a heartbeat.”

Of course we learned five days later that Jones was full of crap, because he declined a fight with Sonnen leading to the cancellation of the entire UFC 151 card.

If you ask me how I account for the change in opinion, I think it’s pretty simple: What you heard in the interview was Jon Jones the fighter talking, and the person who declined the fight was Jon Jones the businessman acting under the influence of his trainer. Or maybe when he said he’d fight Sonnen in a heartbeat, it was said under the assumption that he would have proper preparation and a full training camp.

You can listen to the exchange in the clip below (warning: Kanan drops an f-bomb):

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Chael Sonnen, Rampage Jackson trade hilarious trash talk

Back in October, when Chael Sonnen challenged Anderson Silva in front of the entire world, he upped the ante by throwing in a surprising “loser walks” wager.

“Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck,” Sonnen said after manhandling Brian Stann at UFC 136, an event in which Silva was in attendance. “I’m calling you out Silva, but we’re upping the stakes. I beat you, you leave the division. You beat me, I will leave the UFC forever.”

Silva agreed to the fight, although Sonnen later backed off on his offer. But one devastating Silva knee to the chest (face?) and a TKO loss later, Sonnen still remains part of UFC even though he’s reportedly considering retirement. However, Rampage Jackson is holding Sonnen to his word.

“He sucked … he should stick to his promise to leave the UFC,” Jackson told MMA Elite. “He should go somewhere where people like his interviews and love the way he is, the way he talks s**t on everybody. I can’t stand that boy. F*** Chael.”

Of course Sonnen found out about those remarks. And of course the arguably biggest s-talker in the history of UFC wasn’t going to bite his tongue. Here’s his awesome rebuttal (via MMA Mania):

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Chael Sonnen’s coach reportedly planning to appeal Anderson Silva knee

Chael Sonnen dismissed the suggestion that a key knee from Anderson Silva at UFC 148 last Saturday was illegal, but one member of his team apparently feels differently.

Sonnen’s coach Scott McQuarry told MMA Junkie that Silva’s second-round TKO was an “injustice,” and that he’s planning to appeal the decision.

“Obviously, there were minor infractions of grabbing shorts and greasing himself up,” McQuarry said. “But the knee to the face … I’ve looked at it from numerous angles. I can see where it hit his face. It did slide down to his chest. But that should be considered a no-contest.

“What I’m looking for is a rematch.”

Sonnen’s manager told MMA Junkie he hadn’t heard about the appeal and thought McQuarry was making it up. McQuarry says he’s contacted the Nevada State Athletic Commission to initiate the appeal.

The debated knee came after Sonnen whiffed on a spinning back fist and ended up on the ground. The knee went to Sonnen’s chest and hurt the fighter, making it tough for him to defend himself against several blows to the head that eventually resulted in a TKO. Dana White said he and others reviewed the knee after the fight and determined it was legal because it went to the chest, not the head.

Sonnen refused to blame his loss on the controversial knee.

“I hate those rules anyway,” Sonnen said after the fight. “I’m an old school guy before we had rounds and weight classes and all that stuff. We’re in a lot better spot now, so I don’t propose we should go back to that, but I don’t care about legal or illegal.

“I could see him, I could see it coming. That’s just the way it goes.”

Maybe this is the strategy Sonnen’s camp is using to generate buzz for a third fight. Given that the beef between the fighters was squashed last weekend, there might not be too much interest in another battle between them.

Anderson Silva beats Chael Sonnen then invites him for Brazilian BBQ

Anderson Silva beat Chael Sonnen by second-round TKO in their rematch at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, and their beef was finally squashed.

The fight started off just like the first four and half rounds of their first fight with Sonnen taking down Silva and dominating him on the ground. In the second round, Silva avoided a takedown and capitalized after Sonnen fell to the ground on a missed spinning backfist. One knee to the chest and several punches to the head later, Sonnen was done and the fight was stopped with Silva retaining his UFC Middleweight Championship belt.

After all the crap talking that was exchanged from both parties over the years, the beef finally ended. Silva sought out Sonnen during his post-fight interview, put his arm around his foe and offered some praise.

Silva said there was no disrespect between the two and that their fight was just sport and just the UFC. He asked the Brazilian fans in attendance to applaud Chael for his performance, and then according to his translator, he extended an invitation.

“If you’d like to have a barbecue at my house, I’d love to have you over,” Silva said.

Sonnen called Silva a “true champion,” after it was all over, and he said in the post-fight news conference that he could go for some barbecue.

Though Sonnen is 0-2 in his career against Silva, he has won 5 of the 7 rounds against him. That’s not a bad accomplishment considering Silva is 32-4, has won 16 straight fights, and is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. MMA fans can thank both men for putting on another great show.