Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones: Has the UFC Jumped the Shark?

Mike MorganContributor IIIOctober 17, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 16: UFC President Dana White speaks during a press conference promoting UFC 145: Jones v Evans at Philips Arena on February 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

It was announced on Tuesday that the coaches for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) would be Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones. 

As is the norm, the two coaches will square off during the show's finale, meaning Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones will fight for the Light Heavyweight Championship on April 27, 2013.  

It's been well-documented that TUF has been mired in a slump and that ratings have been dwindling. 

Instead of scrapping the tired show, the brass at Zuffa would rather risk the integrity of the sport and that of the organization that they have built into a worldwide empire.

The UFC is the biggest name in the sport.  It is the Major League.  It is The Show.  The UFC is the place where all fighters strive to be.  Winning a UFC championship belt is considered achieving the sport's highest summit.

Or is it?

See, on April 27 when Sonnen and Jones square off, it will be for just such a championship belt. 

The trouble is that one of the men does not deserve the opportunity to fight for a championship at any weight class, let alone his first foray back into the 205-pound division. 

Chael Sonnen has fought 11 times in the past five years.  Of those 11 fights, he's been victorious in seven.  He's been stopped twice in title fights at 185 pounds.  In fact, he's been stopped in all four of those losses. 

This isn't a resume that screams immediate title shot.

What Sonnen is, though, is brilliant.  He's a highly intelligent, charismatic man. 

Outside of the cage, Sonnen's aptitude at self-promotion is unrivaled. Unfortunately, his skill in the cage doesn't match this aptitude. Ultimately though, the blame for this mess lies at the hands of the powers that be within the UFC. 

I can't help but feel betrayed. 

There are better options at 205: Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira—although they don't have the star power that Sonnen possesses. 

No, instead of giving Jones one of those three fighters, all of whom possess the skill set to push the champion like he has never been pushed before, the UFC decided to give Jones a one-dimensional fighter with no conceivable chance of beating the champion. 

The UFC, instead of putting on the best possible fight in terms of competitiveness, has opted to put on a mismatched fight in the hopes of saving its fledgling TV show.