As much as I hate to admit it, I am honestly looking forward to the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, even if I still think Chael Sonnen is utterly undeserving of the spot as coach opposite of reigning light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, simply because it gives Sonnen a title bout that he just hasn’t earned.
But still, this is Chael Sonnen we are talking about—one of the most intelligent, well-spoken and cunning men in the sport today—author of…a book, and master of social media as it pertains to enterprise.
Granted, all the talk is of how friendly Sonnen and Jones are, but with both men, you know what rests upon the surface is very deceiving.
This is a competition after all—a contest between two people—and given that I don’t believe that Sonnen stands a snowball's chance in hell of beating Jones in a fight, he’s going to pull out all the stops to beat him in a contest between coaches.
And that is what makes it all compelling, and that is why I feel compelled to watch.
I think both men will honestly make good coaches, unlike Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck, where GSP was the coach and Koscheck was simply a man using a group of undiscovered fighters to try to defeat the champion vicariously.
I think both Sonnen and Jones, no matter if they win or lose their title fight, actually care about those men who are looking to them for leadership, and it’s been a long time since The Ultimate Fighter has seen that.
But aside from the paternal aspects of this upcoming season that appeal to me, there is also something artistically pleasing about the clash to come—and make no mistake about it, there is going to be a serious clash—that is terribly random on one hand and outright predicated on the other: I just can’t touch it with a needle…yet.
But I can identify it when viewing other fighters and potential seasons through that lens: it seems to bring notions of conflict—both pronounced and subtle—into view in such a way that they seem to come to life like good oratory in the middle of a war.
In that spirit of discovery I give you 10 more possible seasons of conflict that look at one hand to be poetic and in the other just aggressive, but I don’t think you’ll mind.
After all, each one ends up in a fight.