Eyebrows were raised and heads were scratched when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) dropped the bombshell fight announcement between current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, as well as their gig as coaches for the next installment of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
Lyoto Machida recently took to the Twitter world to express his disapproval toward the matchmaking, saying Sonnen hasn't done anything in the division to deserve a title shot. Even Dan Henderson, Chael's friend and trainer partner, was dumbfounded at the revelation.
Though I'm positive he must feel some sort happiness for Sonnen, the fact that yet another contender will get a crack at dethroning "Bones" before he gets his opportunity must be a little frustrating.
"Hendo" was originally penciled in to face the young champion at UFC 151, but an unfortunate injury cancelled the bout and Jones' refusal to fight Sonnen back then, lead to the ultimate cancelation of the event altogether. After Jones defended his title against Vitor Belfort at UFC 152, it was widely believed the winner of a rumored bout between Henderson and Machida or the victor between the Mauricio Rua and Alexander Gustafsson bout would get next dibs at beating "Bones."
He stepped up when no one else would. (via media conference call)
"Let's be clear. Nobody said Chael clearly doesn't deserve anything. Let's understand, not one of those fighters said "Hey Dana, I'll fight Chael." I called every one of those bastards out and I've got no problem slapping any one of them around including the Karate Kid. The only fighter to call Jon Jones out is me. Nobody calls me out and I never get hurt. They can whine all they want but not one of them has stepped up. They get jealous or envious of an opportunity but they never go out to the mound and make the call. I wanted it and I got it. I talked a cat out of a tree earlier today. At the end of it all, Ariel, good for me and chalk one more up for the bad guy."
No one can argue Sonnen has a gift for gab, but he's a pretty darn good fighter, too.
The rabble-rousing Republican took Anderson Silva into unchartered waters in their encounter back at UFC 117, giving "The Spider" all he can handle before falling victim to Silva's crafty ju-jitsu in the final moments of the fight.
In their rematch at UFC 148, Chael didn't have as much luck with his wrestling, as Anderson was able to end the fight it the second round via ground-and-pound.
With Jones nipping on the heels of Silva in the pound-for-pound rankings, you can bet ending "Bones'" impressive run in the 205-pound division would be a nice feather in Sonnen's cap.
Anyone see that happening?