FULL Event Quotes & Recap: UFC Media Call with Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen & Dana White
The purpose of the call was to promote Sonnen and Jones coaching opposite one another on The Ultimate Fighter season 17 which will begin in January. The two will meet in April for Jones’ light heavyweight title. FX also announced that TUF will be moving from Fridays and there will be a few format changes, but that does not include going back to live fights.
FX was monitoring the shows on Friday and feels with Sonnen and Jones as coaches along with what they feel is a great cast, the ratings will improve. Expectations are very, very big.
Sonnen was glad the show was brought up and pointed out that the purpose of the call was not about him and Jones, but about TUF. Coaching the show is a means to an end for Sonnen and winning a championship.
Sonnen said TUF is the single toughest tournament in MMA and will be aired over 10 of the most successful weeks as far as ratings are concerned on FX. Brought up fighters like Josh Koshcheck, Gray Maynard and Stephan Bonnar not being able to win the show.
The TUF Finale will be at The Hard Rock and they are looking at New Jersey for the title fight.
FX is not happy about Spike trying to create confusion by scheduling old episodes of TUF against the new episodes and trying to pass them off as new content. Spike will be out of the UFC business in January and will try and launch their own reality show with Bellator. They will be watching how, when and where Spike schedules their new show. They want to put shows where they will work best and are huge fans of the work done by Dana & the Fertittas.
Dana wouldn’t speculate on who would’ve coached TUF had it not been Jones-Sonnen.
Sonnen says you get what you get and no other fighters said they would fight Jones and he has called every one of those bastards out. He has no problem having a tune-up fight and slapping anyone of those guys around including the “Karate Kid”. He’s the only one to call Jones out, he never gets hurt and will fight anyone at any time. He doesn’t care that he talked his way into the fight, he wanted it and he got it. He talked a cat out of a tree today! Chalk one more up to the bad guy!
Sonnen feels Jones is the best fighter he’s ever seen, if he was to compare him to anyone he would put Randy Couture above him, but he doesn’t believe he’s Couture. He believes he’s spectacular and doesn’t know what to call his technique. Jones needs Sonnen, he hasn’t beaten anyone. He beat Bader, Shogun, the glorified Hollywood extra, Rampage and Vitor. He is the man because he says he’s the man, let someone take his spot.
Sonnen will be the coach, he will take half of the young men and teach them to be fighters and Jones will take the other half and teach them to be selfish. The good news is Jon’s team will have a hell of an after party. Jones said he will have an after party in April.
Sonnen has been on both sides of an ass whipping and that’s something that Jones hasn’t been part of. Jones has been very dominant, but he’s fought a lot of guys who are timid and afraid to get into a fight. He’s going to walk out there and get into a fistfight. Above everything he’s in a lot better shape than anyone Jones has ever fought. He said skill for skill Jon is better and Jon will admit he’s in better shape than anyone he’s ever fought. Jon asked in better shape on TRT or off TRT? Sonnen said let’s move on.
Sonnen says the reward will be watching his guys succeed, that’s the biggest benefit.
Jones feels fighting Sonnen both legitimizes and delegitimize the title, but without the fans where would the sport be? Just two months ago everyone called him a sissy and wuss for not fighting Sonnen and now a lot of people have jumped on the train about Sonnen not deserving the title shot, he thinks he’s over it. Says this fight has nothing to do with the belt, Chael’s not getting close to it.
It doesn’t make a difference to Sonnen whether or not Jones was the champion, he wants to fight Jones, he’ll take his belt right now if he wants! Said since Couture & Liddell left the division is a joke, but Jon may be the guy, but he isn’t yet.
Dana confirmed Forrest Griffin will still be in the co-main event of UFC 155, they think they have an opponent, but can’t reveal it yet.
Jones has reached out to some potential coaches and has chosen a few, but did not name them.
Sonnen not worried about the weight, when he started there weren’t any weight classes. He’d much rather fight in the main event for the title and more importantly Jon Jones. The only thing that delegitimizes the title is the brat, Jon Jones.
Jones says Sonnen is a good talker and good for the sport in some ways, but extremely disrespectful and not much of a championship level athlete. Jones is doing a lot of people and Sonnen a favor in fighting him.
Jones knows who he is and Sonnen is a guy with very little class and if it gets deep and personal then it will work against him.
Sonnen says there are things that are off limits, he’s not picking a fight he has his fight. There are limits to everything and Jones is a wrestler and he’s part of the fraternity and he’ll always have a spot in his heart because of that.
Dana said this all came together really quick it started when they found out Jones was injured and wouldn’t be able to fight until April.
Jones says it isn’t a wrestling match and he hasn’t been taken down because he takes his wrestling so seriously. Mentioned fighting Rashad Evans and a few others who weren’t able to take him down. Called Sonnen a decent wrestler who was an Olympic alternate. Maybe he will get taken down, but Sonnen gets submitted all the time while in the top position. He has a solid BJJ game off of his back even though he hasn’t displayed it.
Says Sonnen’s ground and pound is very weak and he isn’t afraid to get taken down, he knows for a fact if he gets Sonnen down he will open him up. He has a slight edge in BJJ and he knows he has a huge edge in kickboxing. Doesn’t see any way for Sonnen to win this fight, but will train like a madman because losing to Chael is not an option.
Sonnen says that was painful and of course he will take Jones down repeatedly. Jones laughed and said that’s awesome!
Dana says ratings has nothing to do with this pairing, but judging by the response the rating will be good.
Jones said the decision to fight Sonnen had nothing to do with finances, but more to do with getting over this chapter in his career. Getting over the cancellation of UFC 151 and beating Sonnen and Henderson would give him closure. Jones called it the Chael Sonnen invasion of his career.
Jones just wanted an appropriate amount of time to prepare for Chael and he absolutely knows he can beat him. He doesn’t believe Sonnen knows how to win championships.
Doctors advised Jones not to train for the next several months due to the arm injury he suffered in his bout with Vitor Belfort at UFC 152. They found some small tears in his elbow.
Jones will teach his fighters to be extremely passionate and he will try to be an example of that. He will teach them to have the work ethic to backup that passion.
Jones called Sonnen’s use of Testosterone Therapy Treatment bullcrap. Sonnen refused to comment on the topic of TRT.
*Dana had to repeat a minimum of three times that every other contender turned down a fight with Jones except Dan Henderson. Sonnen agreed to fight Jones on eight days notice and with Jones not being able to fight until April because of the injury to his arm, this pairing made perfect sense.*
Dana told all the other fighters who are bitching that they had an opportunity to fight Jones and they turned it down. Sonnen was the only one who accepted the fight with Jones at UFC 151.
Dana said Jones told him he would whoop Chael’s ass and fight whomever Dana wants him to fight next. Dana also said there will be an absolute number one contender when Jones comes back, didn’t mention Sonnen at all. White did say he is not in the business of making predictions and every time he thinks one fighter will win with no problem, someone else wins. Jones has been incredibly dominant over the past year and a half, but anything can happen.
Machida and Henderson will fight, Gustaffson and Shogun will fight in December.