Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen to coach 'The Ultimate Fighter 17,' fight on April 27

JMCC

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UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) and former middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen (28-12-1 MMA, 6-5 UFC) will serve as coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter 17" on FX.

The coaching assignments, as well as an April 27 fight date, today were confirmed by the Los Angeles Times.

Due to his coaching duties, Sonnen no longer will fight Forrest Griffin (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) at UFC 155 in December.

"TUF 17" filming begins Oct. 29, and the show then debuts on FX in January. The 17th edition of the UFC's long-running reality series is expected to feature middleweight and light-heavyweight fighters. Open tryouts for the tournament-based competition and show recently drew more than 120 UFC hopefuls.

Jones and Sonnen will serve as head coaches of opposing teams. As with past seasons of "TUF," their coach-vs.-coach fight will headline a pay-per-view event soon after the series' 12-week run on FX.

Sonnen, who suffered a second loss to middleweight champion Anderson Silva in his most recent bout, was targeted for a late-notice light-heavyweight fight with Jones at UFC 151. However, when Jones declined to take the fight on eight days' notice following an injury to original opponent Dan Henderson, UFC officials ultimately canceled the Sept. 1 show outright.

Although Jones said he offered to fight Sonnen a few weeks later at UFC 152, officials instead paired him up with Lyoto Machida and then ultimately Vitor Belfort, whom he submitted in the fourth round.

But since the UFC 151 cancellation, Sonnen hasn't missed an opportunity to call out Jones, even though he's currently booked to fight light heavyweight Forrest Griffin at UFC 155 in December.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Jones recently tweeted that he was warming up to the idea of fighting Sonnen.

"The more I realize how bad the fans want to see me fight Sonnen the more I am beginning to disregard whether he deserves it or not," Jones recently tweeted. "A part of me wants to do it for the fans. The other part of me feels as if it delegitimizes the importance of (the) championship."
Not a fan of this. Sonnen hasn't done anything to earn this fight.
 
Dec 12, 2007
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He puts asses in seats. That's good enough for Dana White.
 

mills

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I'd pay to see him fight but no fighter can make that reality show interesting for me.

Does it still bring in lots of new mma fans? If so it's a good thing I guess.
 

VMS

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Apr 26, 2006
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I think this season is going to be fucking hilarious.

And I could be wrong, but I think Chael has a lot more experience as a coach. OTOH, Jones can call in better "assistant" coaches to help out, like Greg Jackson. But I think Team Sonnen is going to do better than Team Jones.
 

Your_Moms_Box

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#6
It's still on Friday nights?

Then I'm not watching, but I will watch the highlight clips on youtube and other places and see everything worth seeing anyway.

Chael doesn't deserve the shot, but oh well.

I've said it before and been flamed for it, but I think if they want TUF to get ratings they need to go back to making it more "reality show" programming like it was in the first season with stupid pointless competitions and shit.

I have no desire to see a whole bunch of people who are so good that they aren't already in the UFC, Bellator, or Strikeforce.

This isn't 10 years ago, there are already promotions for the mid level talent so that just leaves a bunch of shit for TUF. Anyone who is honestly talented enough in the regional circuits to get signed doesn't go through TUF at this point. (Jon Jones didn't come from TUF, nor did any of the other YOUNG talents that are possible contenders in the last few years)

It was a great idea to cultivate talent when it started, but it is no longer needed and is pretty horrible to watch.
 
Dec 12, 2007
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It was a great idea to cultivate talent when it started, but it is no longer needed and is pretty horrible to watch.
Pretty much sums it up. I will watch it for Chael, he's funny and does seem to be good at teaching people from some of the videos you can see on youtube.

I think Jon beats him but I hope Chael at least makes it interesting. I think a fight with forrest would have been good for him, its not very smart to jump into a new division and fight willy nilly.

Chael being a smart businessman couldn't turn it down or Dana would be pissed. Dana needs TUF's numbers to increase because he most likely has a contract with FX for a certain number of seasons.
 

Neon

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Not a fan of this. Sonnen hasn't done anything to earn this fight.
Jones hasn't done anything to earn a coaching spot. With all due respect, he's an extremely talented kid, the operative word here being "kid."
 

mills

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Jones hasn't done anything to earn a coaching spot. With all due respect, he's an extremely talented kid, the operative word here being "kid."
Are you really using the word "earn" in the context of a goofy reality tv show where two pre-chosen Names just go through the motions of pretending to be mad at each other without rolling their eyes and giving themselves douchechills?
 

Neon

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Are you really using the word "earn" in the context of a goofy reality tv show where two pre-chosen Names just go through the motions of pretending to be mad at each other without rolling their eyes and giving themselves douchechills?
The point of the coaches in previous seasons was that you brought seasoned veterans in to mentor young up and comers.
 

Konstantin K

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The point of the coaches in previous seasons was that you brought seasoned veterans in to mentor young up and comers.
Eh, I think you're buying into it a little too much. It's more about name recognition and building hype for a fight than it is helping the kids.
 

Neon

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Eh, I think you're buying into it a little too much. It's more about name recognition and building hype for a fight than it is helping the kids.
Don't get me wrong - there's nobody bigger right now if you look at it from the "TUF as publicity for a big fight" angle. But like YMB said, it shows that the show has kinda changed its purpose over the years.
 

JMCC

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I'll watch the show and pay for the fight.

Mission Accomplished.
And that's the key. If you check other MMA sites, you have a lot of fans say they haven't watched TUF in years, but because Sonnen will be a coach, they will make sure to watch it. The problem for the UFC is, that unless season 18 has 2 other big time coaches, the ratings will go back to the crapper.

We all know why they UFC is doing this and that's ratings. Just last week TUF 16 had a series low in viewership. Season 17 will be a temporary solution to a show that unless it's moved to a different night, just won't get the same numbers it did in the past.

Jones hasn't done anything to earn a coaching spot. With all due respect, he's an extremely talented kid, the operative word here being "kid."
How old is he? 24-25? And he's a champion? I say he has more to teach about what it takes to be a champ and how to get there, than coaches like Jason Miller, Michael Bisping, Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson. No disrespect to those guys, but Jones has accomplished more in the last couple of years than all of them combined.

And is not like he won't have his own coaches helping him. Just like every other season, you have the coach and they have their coaches help them along the way. It's like Konstantin K said, they're there to bring hype to their upcoming fight and to bring viewers to the show. Mentoring it's secondary.
 

Neon

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I guess you have a point. They've already let some total bums coach on that show.
 
Jun 30, 2005
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#15
There have been several coaches who have come straight out and said "I can't coach, but i can roll with the guys and train with them...but my crew will be doing the coaching..." I think Belfort last said that on TUF brazil...
I DVR the show. I really don't know many people who sit around and watch live TV...every MMA fan I know already has a DVR...
 

UCJOE

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#16
 

UCJOE

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Jones hasn't done anything to earn a coaching spot. With all due respect, he's an extremely talented kid, the operative word here being "kid."
Huh? He won FIVE straight title fights & headlined five PPV's & has 18 fights total
That is more experience than just about everyone
 

salz4life

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#18
So when Sonnen gets beat by Jon Jones, does he then move up to Heavyweight and start talking shite about JDS, Reem, or whoever the champ is next summer or does he go way down to Welterweight and talk at GSP?
 

fulldevilsoccer

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Who knew, Ultimate fighter on the biggest cable channel in the country would end up as the biggest failure in the history of MMA?
 

UCJOE

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#20
Who knew, Ultimate fighter on the biggest cable channel in the country would end up as the biggest failure in the history of MMA?
FX is like tenth rated
 

mills

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#21
I'm praying that Silva will cave and take the Jones fight. That's the only logical reason for this, isn't it? To pressure him into doing something he's said he won't do.

Dana always wins. And if Silva doesn't cave to a fight vs Jones, we'll probably have to watch him knock pipsqueak GSP around. That sounded interesting about two or three years ago, but I think everyone's come to realize now why that would suck.
 

UCJOE

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#22
Meltzer
It is expected that as part of the deal in getting Jones and Sonnen on the show, that FX will move the show from Friday night to Tuesdays. Moving a show that is steadily declining in ratings from a night you expect to do badly to a night that you need to do well in to carry the weekly average is a risky move for FX. It's one that programmers will almost never do, and shows that FOX as a network is both trying to save the show and is also committed to helping build UFC since it's got the contract for six more years. It also puts pressure on the show do to large ratings since FX is in a battle for top ten on cable and needs a show on a Tuesday not to drag down the weekly average.
 

Pearce

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#23
Jon himself says he's in no position to be a coach at this point. He just got his fuckin arm nearly snapped in half from the most basic armbar setup in MMA. His "experience" fighting much smaller slower less athletic men doesn't mean shit.
 

Pearce

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#24
that said, I'm happy the show is taking place because weekly Chael is never bad
 

UCJOE

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#25
Jon himself says he's in no position to be a coach at this point. He just got his fuckin arm nearly snapped in half from the most basic armbar setup in MMA. His "experience" fighting much smaller slower less athletic men doesn't mean shit.
Yep that Machida & Evans & Shogun are really slow