Chael Sonnen’s Pressure is His Greatest Strength

Season 17 of “The Ultimate Fighter” will be twice as exciting and twice the muscle as Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones coach opposite each other on the reality television show. The two great fighters will soon meet each other at the Octagon on April 27, 2013.

Jon Jones’ coach Mike Winkeljohn was partially involved in the decision to turn down Jones’ fight against Sonnen when UFC President Dana White scheduled a short notice fight. Jones was supposed to fight Dan Henderson but the later withdrew the fight because of an injury.

Winkeljohn was recently interviewed at the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” Show where the coach discussed the matchup, answered questions about Jones’ training and why they did not considered the fight in September.

Winkeljohn remarked when he was asked about their decision to turn down the fight against Sonnen: “I guess looking back at it; we didn’t know the whole card was getting cancelled. If we should have known the whole card would get cancelled, that might have changed the decision. I honestly thought Jon will beat Chael no matter what, but it was one of those decisions that, at the moment, fight him now and its 85, 90 percent. I’m that confident.” Winkeljohn added: “We hadn’t been working on that kind of guy, that kind of aggressive wrestler with a hard left hand. We had been working on Dan Henderson, who’s totally different. He throws a big overhand right. He’s great inside the clinch with his Greco. He’s kind of a different fighter, so it just didn’t make sense.”

When asked how their team finally made the decision to withdraw: “Things would have changed if we had more information, and I think Greg (Jackson) made his right decision, that he thought it was best just to wait… we all sat down and within 20 minutes we had that decision made.”

When asked about Jones’ training: “it’s time to develop new tools and that’s what Jon has done since he has come to camp. I’m real blessed that this young man listens. He went from being mostly a wrestler to now he’s turning over to become a great striker in the division. He’s almost there. He’s almost at that Anderson Silva place where he’s going to start getting those one-punch, one-kick knockouts.” The beaming coach even added: “Just wait. You haven’t seen anything yet.”

On Sonnen: “He’s relentless. Pressure. He’s always going to be on you… that pressure he comes to the table with.”

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 Will Not Be Seen On Friday Night

It’s an episode worth watching as Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen debut as coaches for “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17. It will be aired on January and not on Friday night.

Chuck Saftler, network executive, has revealed the new arrangement on Wednesday in a media conference call. Saftler on the other hand did not disclose which night of the week will the UFC reality show will be aired. But as always, FX has a special message for rival cable TV network Spike TV. Spike was the previous partner of UFC as it broadcasted the initial seasons of TUF from 2005 to 2011.

Saftler mentions: “The show is going to move off of Friday nights. I can’t confirm the day right now but it’s definitely moving to a weekday. There will be an announcement on that sometime in the next 30 to 45 days.” The network executive added: “But I will say that Spike should watch their ass.”

To recall, Spike and UFC has ended their partnership last year but the premier cable network has retained its rights to broadcast UFC content up to the end of the year. Spike will continue its MMA content this January when it airs Season 8 of the Bellator Fighting Championships.

There was viewer confusion as Spike continued airing UFC content. “Clearly, Spike has been dogging us for most of this year with the launch of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and trying to pass it off as new content. They will be out of UFC game effective in January. They’re going to try to launch their own reality show that competes with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ or does very similar things with their Bellator product.” Saftler added that FX will be watching how Spike schedules their shows and will be making a better lineup for UFC.

Figures do not lie; there was a notable all-time low of 624,000 viewers since TUF moved to Friday nights on FX. Dana White, UFC President, even had to deny that Jones and Sonnen were selected to coach this latest season to boost the program’s ratings.

“We were absolutely monitoring the Friday situation and we want to see if there’s a day that can work better for the show…We think we can move off of Friday and with the casting, we have very, very big expectations for the ratings. They should be epic.”


Jones to Sonnen: Sonnen Does Not Know How to Win Championships

It has been seven weeks after the historic UFC 151; this fight will be forever to be remembered as the event that never happened. Jon Jones turned down a short-notice replacement opponent Chael Sonnen. The UFC light heavyweight champion will now defend his title at “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 against the same 15-year pro fighter Chael Sonnen.

To recount what happened at UFC 151, Jon Jones was supposed to face Dan “Hendo” Henderson at September 1 but Hendo suffered a terrible injury that caused him to turn down the fight. UFC searched for an opponent for Jones in just eight days’ notice. UFC chose Chael Sonnen who immediately accepted the invitation. Jones however, declined the fight. UFC 151 was cancelled. Jones was booked for UFC 152 to face Vitor Belfort for his light heavyweight belt which he retained.

Jones expressed his feelings over facing Sonnen in so many occasions and most of this in utter dissatisfaction. But lately Jones is seen singing a different tune. The champion finally revealed his decision to accept a challenge from Sonnen and possibly a slot on UFC’s reality show.

In a media conference call, Jon Jones said: “It honestly didn’t have anything to do with finances. It had to do with getting over this chapter of our careers. I’m trying to move forward and do a lot of amazing things. Whether I thought I could beat Chael. It was about fighting and handling my career in the most professional manner. Taking a last minute fight for a world championship is not fair to me, and it’s hopefully something I’ll never have to do. I just wanted to fight Chael with the appropriate time to prepare.” Jones further added: “I absolutely know I can beat Chael and I’m really confident going into this fight because of my skill and my versatility. I’m a championship fighter and I don’t think Chael is really a guy who knows how to win championships.”

Jones further explained that according to his analysis, Sonnen is not getting close to the light heavyweight belt but he has great respect for the fighter. He mentions that even when Sonnen is not a championship level athlete, he has his great qualities. But all these will not be much of a factor when they finally meet on the octagon. “I really don’t see any way for Chael to win this fight, but I’m still going to train like a madman.”