Lead Up to Jones vs Sonnen Proving to Be Disappointing

Dale De Souza@@DaleDeSouzaMMAAnalyst IMarch 20, 2013

Sep 22, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; UFC fighter Jon Jones after defeating fighter Vitor Belfort (not pictured) during a light heavyweight bout at UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Unless one can provide footage of someone trashing a room after seeing or reading the things that the UFC's number-one light-heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen conveyed about UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, it pains us to inform you all that the buildup to UFC 159's long-awaited headliner proves disappointing.

Sure, the hubbub started off strong and followed up with a recent Twitter barb suggesting that Sonnen will take this shot as opposed to Jones granting the shot:


All of that seems strong, but transition from that to a brief combination of nudging shots from Sonnen to Jones on last week's edition of "UFC Tonight":


Now, fast forward to this past Tuesday's edition of "UFC Tonight" in which the inner poet of Sonnen appears to shine:


A number of people will disagree, some more aggressively than others, but couple in these "shots" with how friendly Sonnen and Jones act around each other on this season of "The Ultimate Fighter", and then stop to think about how deep Sonnen really went in on Jones.

Did Sonnen really strike a nerve by calling Jones, a Greg Jackson fighter, a boring fighter? Did he light a fire under Jones by calling wins over Stephan Bonnar and Rashad Evans unimpressive? Will Jones want to hurt Sonnen extra for handing Ryan Bader his first career blemish, or even for needing to mount a comeback against a "young dinosaur" in Vitor Belfort?

No, and even during the remaining episodes of this season of The Chael Sonnen Show, which excels in entertaining the masses and nothing more, Sonnen's sound-bytes so far give us no reason to think otherwise. Sonnen, who prefers the label of "truth talker" by his own admission, normally cuts deep with the things he says about certain fighters, but aside from Jones encouraging Sonnen, the talk just doesn't do much.

Perhaps Sonnen reserved his harshest vials of venom for fight week. Perhaps Sonnen's lack of pop in his verbal shots serves as an omen to Sonnen aiming to let his skills break Jones, who normally holds ground as one of the UFC's most composed champions, especially on fight night.

If not either of the two, then perhaps we in the MMA world painted a much different picture of the lead-up to this fight and unrealistically thought the real thing could live up to our picture. Mind you, we all will still watch UFC 159, and we will still enjoy what transpires when Jones fights Sonnen.

That said, don't act like this lead-up tops anything we saw before from the UFC. To put it point-blank, this lead-up barely lights a candle for any previous lead-up for a "grudge fight".

Unless we see someone turn it up before fight week, the lead-up will provide a loud whimper before an event looking to conclude with something of a bang.