A part of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones wants to fight former middleweight number one contender Chael Sonnen because a majority of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans want to see it. But what about the other part?
Not so much.
"Bones" doesn't want to give the "American Gangster" a crack at the crown until he earns it. That is, go out there and beat a few 205 pounders first to make sure you're worthy of a championship fight. That didn't stop him from fighting Vitor Belfort at UFC 152, who also moved up from middleweight, but short notice and injuries and yadda-yadda-yadda.
From the champ's Twitter:
"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. A part of me wants to do it for the fans the other part of me feels as if it delegitimizes the importance of championship."
Sonnen is moving up to light heavyweight to fight Forrest Griffin at the UFC 155 year-end extravaganza on Dec. 29, 2012 in Las Vegas. And after that? That largely depends on whether or not he wins, and perhaps just as important, how he wins.
If he can avenge his loss from 2003 (see it here) in devastating fashion, it's hard to imagine that performance -- coupled with Sonnen's unique ability to sell a fight -- won't get him a 205-pound title shot.
Deserving or not, he does have a few things going for him.
Aside from a few promising up-and-comers like Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira, Jones has pretty much cleaned out the division. Dan Henderson is somewhere "in the mix," but none of the aforementioned fighters can promote a fight like Sonnen can.
Anyone think this fight is a foregone conclusion? Or are they called "fantasy fights" for a reason?