The UFC announced yesterday that the coaches for Season 17 of their reality series “The Ultimate Fighter’ would be Chael Sonnen and Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. After the series airs in early 2013, the two men would meet for Jones’ title on an April 27th, 2013 PPV event. The big key here is what has Sonnen done to deserve a title shot in a bigger weight class? Look for the odds for this fight to break at the sportsbooks starting in the 8 to 1 for Jones as the favorite, and they will skyrocket from there….
First thing, the proposed and close to done year end fight between Forrest Griffin and Chael Sonnen will have to be scrapped. Forrest has practically removed himself from the list of contenders for Jones’ title, but he owns a win over Sonnen and was favored in the early lines of that fight at some of the sportsbooks. Bottom line is that Griffin is dangerous to Sonnen, and they cannot have him coming off a loss, so scratch that fight.
The fans should have seen this coming, that the UFC would not let the match die, when President Dana White mentioned Sonnen was considered one of their top draws. This match is based on that reason, not on Sonnen’s merit as a contender.
On the show, Sonnen has the potential to lower the odds against him a bit. Though we have seen his brash, smack talking persona, he is also very smart and does have potential as a coach in terms of teaching wrestling and preparing his guys mentally. We will likely see a different Chael, and he is solid enough to earn some respect as a coach.
There will come a day where the UFC will experience o cataclysmic upset, something like a Tyson versus Douglas type of moment. But this is unlikely to be that spot, as Jones and Sonnen have similar skill sets, with Jones enjoying youth (he wont need to be hopped up on testosterone like Chael), size and reach advantages that Sonnen has not had to deal with in a long time.
Sonnen is likely the better technical wrestler, but this isn’t a wrestling match being proposed, and Jones wrestling skill and physical advantages will be enough to negate Sonnen’s technical superiority.
So Sonnen is going to just have to get lucky, and the oddsmakers are going to be around 10 to 1 saying he can’t do it.