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FROM THE NOSEBLEEDS

A TRUE FAN VIEW PRODUCTION

April 27th 2013. A big date in the history of the UFC and all of MMA. The marketing angle used by the UFC had a decidedly WWE feel. Chael Sonnen (Challenger) calling out John Jones (Champion). Sonnen was to play the bad guy and Jones the good guy. Both guys coached on the UFC reality show and marketing tool, “The Ultimate Fighter”.  What was built up to be a super fight turned into a super DUD.

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Sonnen vs Jones on The Ultimate Fighter minimized most of the tension that was palpable when this fight was announced. On the show it became pretty clear that Sonnen wasn’t the guy who enjoyed being in front of a mic running through his various WWE routines of playing a heel. Sonnen showed that he is not the arrogant villain he has tried so hard to create in the public eye. He ultimately beat Jones on the show in a number of Coaches vs. Coaches challenges. Most importantly, Sonnen owned the Ultimate Fighter Finale. Two of his students competed for the show’s title and six-figure contract.

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Watching the season I waited for the moment when Sonnen would put Jones in a position to retaliate. That moment never happened. We witnessed two guys who would eventually attempt to beat the day lights out of one another be total gentlemen. The twitter feud between Jones and Sonnen was supposed to be the lit fuse leading into the show. Instead, the viewing audience learned that they were both good guys who are passionate about their sport. They got along. They talked with one another. The best part of the season was the lack of practical jokes teams in the past felt was a necessary component on the show.

A week from the big showdown the UFC had its seventh card on FOX. In true Chael form, he set the stage for his fight with Jones the following week. At the end of the FOX broadcast Chael used 3 minutes to talk directly to Jones.  He brought his best for that moment. Calling out Jones. Telling the world he was going to beat Jones. But at that point his words rang hollow. I knew this wasn’t really Chael speaking. I knew this because Sonnen opened up to the world on The Ultimate Fighter.

As I settled in to watch the “mega super fantastic brawl” that was to be Jones vs. Sonnen, my only hope was that both guys beat the hell out of each other. We all wanted to witness that. What we got was Sonnen being dominated by a far better fighter, again.

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Chael Sonnen is a great guy. He is someone who is willing to teach his craft and share his experiences with a group of guys who want to achieve what he has achieved. They want to fight on the stages Sonnen has fought. They want to be seen as Sonnen was seen.

My only advice to those up and comers? Don’t write a check your butt can’t cash. Walk the walk. When you’ve had your hand raised and the belt put around your waist, THEN let your voice be heard. Any talk before that and you could find yourself speaking meaningless, hollow words. At this point, any trash talk from Sonnen will no longer hold water. His performance from here on out needs to speak louder than the words he chooses to spew before a fight.

MMA: UFC 159-Jones vs Sonnen

Manny Palomarez

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