Chael Sonnen's last fight is kind of like Richard Nixon's last press conference. The members of the media are glad he lost and the fans won't have him to kick around anymore.
That's the price of fame.
What's unfortunate, is that Sonnen is still one of the best 185-pound combatants in the world. But like Rich Franklin before him, the market has proven to be unkind to fighters who've been chewed up and spit out by reigning division kingpin Anderson Silva.
The biggest win of Sonnen's career is a close unanimous decision victory over Michael Bisping, but I'm sure "The American Gangster" will spin this latest defeat into something more favorable, much like he did with his losses to "The Spider."
He can still cut a good promo -- as well as win some tough fights -- but fans have been there and done that.
That's pretty much the sentiment for Jones as he embarks on the second half of his 2013 fight campaign. Lyoto Machida has been waiting for a second chance to break "Bones," and Mauricio Rua and Rashad Evans could also get back in line with wins over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Dan Henderson, respectively.
It's hard not to root for the fresher faces, considering what happened to those challengers the first time around.
And somewhere lurking in the background, Alexander Gustafsson is patiently waiting for his shot. But how does the promotion keep them active without jeopardizing their spot in line? When you start matching them up, eliminator style, you have a situation like Machida vs. Henderson at UFC 157 back in February.
To that end, Sonnen seemed like the perfect candidate. Not only did he inject new life into a tired division, he was able to sell it better than any contender that came before him. When was the last time you heard "Shogun" and "The Dragon" talk a lot of trash?
Sonnen had all of the marketability, but none of the qualifications.
The four fighters that came before him, at one time, held the division title and at the very minimum, had winning records in the UFC light heavyweight division. "The Mauler" may not have held a belt (yet), but he's got six wins in a row, four finishes and a victory over a former champion.
Heck, even Daniel Cormier can get a shot at Jones (if he wants it).
When all else fails, there is always a "super fight" against Anderson Silva, if "The Spider" can bite Chris Weidman at UFC 162. If not, there's a chance to make his oft-rumored move up to heavyweight. He even has his first 265-pound opponent lined up.
He just has to break this record first. Against who, remains to be seen.
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