It was announced Tuesday that former UFC middleweight title challenger and king of smack talk, Chael Sonnen, has talked his way into a title shot against current light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones. The two fighters will serve as the coaches of the Ultimate Fighter Season 17 series and will square off for the belt in April of 2013.
In the wake of Tuesday’s news, many fighters and fans have voiced their displeasure with Chael’s abrupt entry into title contention. However, former light heavyweight champion, Forrest Griffin, doesn’t blame Sonnen for taking the fight.
Although never officially announced, Sonnen was expected to rematch Forrest at UFC 155 this December. However, that fight is no longer part of the plan, as Sonnen will begin taping The Ultimate Fighter on October 29, 2012, and then remain sidelined until his April 27th title fight with Jon Jones.
Griffin, whose status on the year-end UFC 155 card is now unclear, offered his response to the TUF 17 announcement to Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight:
“I’m not mad at him, why fight your way to the top when you can talk your way to the top?” Forrest stated. He continued by saying “I’m actually glad that I’m not fighting him now, because watching his fights was so boring and tedious.”
You can call it ‘sour grapes,’ but Griffin is saying what a lot of other fans and pundits are thinking. Regardless, the Sonnen vs Jones fight is happening, and fans will be treated to a season of TUF that should almost undoubtedly boost ratings and possibly even save the TUF series as a whole.
As for Griffin, reports have been made that he does, in fact, have a new opponent, however, that opponent and the event at which they will be fighting have not been exposed by UFC officials.