MMA Access: The Implications of Jon Jones versus Chael Sonnen
Last Updated on Saturday, 20 October 2012 04:27
Written by PunchDrunkGamer
Saturday, 20 October 2012 04:27
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The Implications of Jon Jones versus Chael Sonnen
By Christopher ‘sLapDatSuCKA’ Jester
Before the cancellation of UFC 151, Chael Sonnen nearly had the opportunity to fight Jon ‘Bones’ Jones for the light-heavyweight title. However, the light-heavyweight champion basically said ‘no’ and that he would not allow Sonnen to talk his way into a title shot. As a result UFC 151 was cancelled and the fans wanted blood; Jon Jones’ blood to be exact. Fans figured he was running scared away from the man who ‘nearly’ beat the middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Ironically, after pressure from the UFC President Dana White, the fans, and the media, Jon Jones has finally receded on his initial reaction and has granted Chael Sonnen an opportunity to fight for his title; although he is not technically deserving of such an opportunity.
Dana White wanted this fight. Most would assume for one reason, money. Chael Sonnen is a big draw money and pay-per-view rating wise; likely because he is one of the most polarizing fighters on the UFC’s roster. While it was quite obvious that Jon Jones and Dana White originally did not see eye-to-eye on this subject, it appears that things have changed. Although there were some strong jabs exchanged between the two before UFC 152, the two did meet just before Jones’ title defense against Vitor Belfort. It stands to reason that the deal they made behind the scenes were that if Dana would stop his trash talk against Greg Jackson then Jones would accept the fight against Chael Sonnen; in theory. Otherwise, this whole thing doesn’t make much sense; particularly if Jones was so adamant about not giving Sonnen a title shot without earning it in the first place.
Dana White has claimed that he will give the fans of the UFC the fights that they want to see. Well, this is the fight they wanted to see before UFC 151 was cancelled and here it is. Except this time, they’ll have a whole season of the Ultimate Fighter to watch before the two fight. Earlier this week it was announced that they would coach the 17th season of TUF next year, and the two will fight after the season concludes on pay-per-view. The date announced so far is April 27. This pairing for the Ultimate Fighter is great as the current season’s ratings have hit all-time lows. But what does this fight do for the UFC’s image as a sports organization?
This matchup can ultimately spell disaster for any ranking system the UFC had. Coming into this fight, Chael Sonnen is coming off a loss against Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva; one that he lost by technical knockout. While some will dispute this by saying Frankie Edgar is getting a title shot against Featherweight champion Jose Aldo, the major difference is Edgar lost a fight by decision in which a majority of the fans believed he won. Neither fighter has competed in their new divisions (inside the UFC), but Sonnen opened his mouth to earn his title shot. 0-2 at title shots in the UFC, Sonnen should be behind other worthy contenders such as Dan Henderson, Glover Teixeria, Alexander Gustaffson, Lyoto Machida or even Shogun Rua. For some sports fans, it may make them wonder if Bellator has it right; where they state title shots are earned, not given. Unfortunately for the UFC, it appears that Chael Sonnen was awarded a title shot instead of earning it.
However, how can anyone knock Chael Sonnen for this major feat? The man is a marketing genius for the Chael brand. He says what he has to say, and it is enough to make fans interested. Despite losses, this man is still an entertaining and polarizing figure that no one can ignore. While his shtick may be reminiscent to pro-wrestling, it is apparently enough to ignite the fires underneath anyone. Although Jones said he wouldn’t be bullied into fighting Chael, it is exactly what happened. How can you fault him for that?
This is a simple fact. It is time to remove a ranking system from the minds of all fans; especially if you watch the UFC. Who may actually deserve a title shot, may not get it. What matters now is a feigned sense of what the fans want, but in reality it is how much money can the UFC get. The UFC has had a few debatable matchmaking decisions over the past few years, but this may be one of the more interesting brow raising decisions the UFC has ever made. Making this matchup will either hurt the UFC or make them a whole lot of money. Most would put their bets on the latter.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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