A TUF Decision: Jones and Sonnen Next Coaches!
It was really only a matter of time before it happened. The Ultimate Fighter, affectionately referred to as “TUF” has been slumping in ratings – most notably since moving to FX from Spike. Dana White had to pull out a trump card to rebound ratings for the series. Yesterday, Dana White confirmed that next two coaches for TUF will be Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen; and in the tradition of the show, the two will square off at the conclusion of the season.
Controversy is already swirling around this announcement. Does Sonnen really deserve a title shot at light heavyweight, in light of the fact that he has beaten no one at that weight class (not to mention he is coming off a loss at middleweight)? I’d probably agree that he doesn’t deserve the shot at the title, but the reasons for this announcement are clear.
This is fundamentally a desperation attempt at White to breathe new life into the waning show – however, it’s the right move at the right time. Not only have ratings for TUF been down, but UFC pay-per-view numbers have also been in slow decline as of late. Outside of a super-fight between two of the pound-for-pound fighters in the promotion (re: Anderson Silva, Jones or Georges St. Pierre), this is the biggest fight that could possibly happen. A two prong attack by White to bolster ratings for the Ultimate Fighter and for the pay-per-views.
What concerns me most, is that White seems to be pulling out a lot of his trump cards as of late. This Jones v. Sonnen announcement aside, we’ve also been hearing whispers of the long-awaited super fight previously mentioned. All of these moves, while right for the time, remind me of a teenager on prom night – putting all of his cards out front, and then blowing it at the last-minute. My only hope is that if the “super fight” comes to pass, that it is well paced out from Jones v. Sonnen.
More details to come on this, as Dana White is set to hold a call today with more details. Stay Tuned!