Chael is keeping himself in the spot light; he’ll now co-host “UFC Tonight” on January 29th.
Chael Sonnen made an immediate impact on the executives at Fox Sports with his guest appearances on Fuel TV’s UFC Tonight and other programming over the past year.
Now, starting January 29, Sonnen will be a full-time host on the news-style show alongside Kenny Florian. Sonnen takes the place of Todd Harris who previously handled hosting duties, and offered up the following in making his formal announcement on the show recently:
I was offered 60 Minutes, The Today Show, The Tonight Show; the even said they would change the name to The Chael Sonnen Show if I signed on to any of those sinking ships. The X Factor said I could judge and compete at the same time, but I signed on the dotted line that is important. I am going to join you in two weeks on January 29 on Fuel TV for UFC Tonight. I am going to bring the wisdom and the wits and we are going to sit side-by-side. You are going to be with the often-imitated, never-duplicated, the C to the H, to the A to the E to the L on UFC Tonight.
Sonnen is currently scheduled to face Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title later this year. He will also be on FX throughout the first few months of the year weekly as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter, which begins January 22.
Dominick Cruz put himself out there on UFC Tonight recently, discussing his recent knee injury and subsequent surgery.
Cruz, who is the current UFC bantamweight champion, hasn’t fought since late in 2011. He was scheduled to meet Urijah Faber after the two served as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, but a training injury to his knee halted that bout.
I was with a guy who I train with a million times and we were moving, we were doing 50-percent movement skills with each other, shadow boxing, and I was on with my brace. I was moving and I went to hit a pivot and the tissue just popped. My knee felt unstable and shortly after I got off the mat and I said something is wrong and I need to sit down. I took my brace off and iced my knee immediately. I had some thoughts and I just figured there was no way that it happened from just moving. I was just shocked.
Cruz was asked the same question that has been discussed on message boards since news of the injury broke – should the UFC strip him of the title. Considering he was off for several months due to the shooting of TUF, it seems likely the UFC will not take the belt.
It is too early. I just had surgery on Thursday. I hurt my knee the day after Thanksgiving while getting my morning workout in and it popped. I went and got an MRI and I went into surgery that same week and it is important for me to get back. Having to deal with being injured, and then with your family and your friends who ask how long you are out, and then I have to deal with media, and after I deal with the media, I have to see the fans and break their hearts. I have gotten so many tweets since the news got out and I would say 95-percent are very positive, uplifting, saying they’ve got my back. If the fans knew how much that helps me, well they know right now because I do this for them and I am in a hard spot right now and the love that I get from the fans right now is really keeping me up and optimistic. The glass is half full right now because the fans got my back and they want to see me back. Thank you so much for the Twitter love and the fans love right now and I am completely heart broken to let down the people who wanted to see me fight in the UFC. I’ll be back.
Renan Barao, who won the interim title with a victory over Faber, is rumored to be heading for a 2013 meeting with Michael McDonald.
UFC Tonight has confirmed a pair of upcoming cards have homes, as UFC 157 will go down from Anaheim and the UFC’s return to Japan will be broadcast on Fuel TV.
UFC 157 will mark the return of the promotion to Anaheim, as the Honda Center hosts the February 23 card.
Also, UFC on Fuel TV 8 will go down March 3 from Saitama, Japan. The UFC’s return to Japan was confirmed over the weekend.
The scheduling of these two events means that the UFC will hold cards six of seven weekends from mid-January until early March.
UFC Tonight analyst Kenny Florian knows what it’s like to be the underdog heading into title matches.
Florian offered up his take on this coming Saturday night’s Jon Jones-Vitor Belfort fight at UFC 152 for the UFC light heavyweight title recently.
Without a doubt, (Belfort) has a chance. They call him ‘The Phenom’ for a reason. This is the kind of guy who really could match Jon Jones from the talent department and that is really something we probably haven’t seen before. Anytime you get that kind of talent and athleticism that Belfort (has), he can beat anyone in the world. And if he is on at UFC 152, that is a scary fight.
Many have questioned Belfort’s selection to face Jones, but he is a former UFC champion.
What kind of odds do you give Belfort? Good, bad, or not a chance?
UFC president Dana White sat down with Ariel Helwani for an in-depth one-on-one interview on UFC Tonight Tuesday.
White talked about a number of subjects, including the decision to cancel UFC 151, his relationship with Jon Jones, and a potential super-fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.
Below is a quick recap of the episode:
On UFC 151 being cancelled:
I had my moment where I was upset. One of the things that I like is our consistency. We’ve never cancelled an event. People don’t realize the collateral damage that goes on and how many people are depending on these events to go on. This (was) the first time we’ve ever cancelled one, so that’s a little emotional.
On the amount of money lost by cancelling UFC 151:
We spent $2 million in advertising. It’s a business and I have to deal with it. Every day when I wake up, bad things are going to happen and I’ve got to deal with them. You think we wanted to cancel the first event ever? No way in hell.
White on his relationship with Jones, the current UFC light heavyweight champion:
We haven’t talked since the incident. I’ve got no animosity towards Jones. We’ll find out how our relationship is as we move on.
In more upbeat news, White said that a potential Silva-GSP bout is close to happening:
I think we’re pretty close. If Georges beats (Carlos) Condit, that could be the next fight. These guys want to fight each other now. They’d probably do the fight at 180 (pounds). If that happens, it’ll probably be at Dallas Texas stadium.
UFC Tonight wasn’t quite the news-breaking episode of recent weeks, but the show did involve plenty of discussion concerning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
With the news of UFC 151 being canceled happening between the two most recent episodes of the show, that was to be expected.
Analyst and former UFC title contender Kenny Florian offered up his take on Jones’ decision to decline a potentially card-saving fight with Chael Sonnen.
Jon Jones is one of the best fighters in the world. He is the champion. He is going into a main event hat he is already prepared for and a title fight he is already prepared for. They gave him a guy like Chael who is, in my opinion – sorry Chael – isn’t as dangerous as Dan Henderson. Jon Jones is a wrestler. He is fighting a guy who is coming up from 185, and he really should have taken this fight.
Helwani talked with both Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson, who were moved from the main event to the co-main event of UFC 152. They will compete for the first-ever UFC flyweight title.
Both had interesting takes on the confusing situation. Joseph Benavidez took the news very well and said he got into the UFC to be a champion, not to fight in main events. As for Demetrious Johnson, he was bummed out. ‘It sucked,’ he said. He was shocked by it and needed time to digest it. But then he thought about it and decided that more people will watch the fight and that would be a good thing.
As for the prospects concerning Chris Weidman, Helwani reported that the “All-American” is flattered by Alan Belcher’s offer to meet in November, but would prefer a meeting with another middleweight.
His response was that he’s still hoping and waiting for a fight with Anderson Silva, but the UFC still has not said if he will fight him. If he can’t fight Anderson Silva, he said he would like to fight with a No. 1 contender fighter. So what he proposed is fighting the winner of (Michael) Bisping vs. (Brian) Stann for a No. 1 contender spot.
Donald Cerrone, you have angered one Anthony Pettis.
Cerrone has made it his mission to call out Pettis as often as possible, even doing so while preparing for his recent fight with Melvin Guillard.
Now, it appears as if Pettis is ready to make the bout with “Cowboy” official.
“Oh, it is happening,” said Pettis, of fighting Cerrone, on UFC Tonight recently. “He is talking too much mess for it not to happen.”
Pettis, a former WEC lightweight champion, is currently on the shelf working his way back from an injury. He has November targeted as a potential return date, and definitely wants to face Cerrone.
UFC president Dana White made mention of the Pettis-Cerrone bout becoming a title-eliminator in the 155-pound division. “Showtime” was given a shot at the UFC title upon entering the promotion, but the division became clogged at the top and Pettis took a match with Clay Guida to remain active.
Guida defeated Pettis, but he has since responded, including a devastating knockout victory over Joe Lauzon earlier this year.
“I am coming for that title shot,” Pettis said. “You’re the only guy standing in my way, and I’m coming for it.”
Pettis actually defeated current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in the WEC for the belt.
Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog
UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani announced on Tuesday that Frankie Edgar is indeed headed to the featherweight ranks.
Edgar kicked around the idea during the post-fight press conference after his recent loss to UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
Earlier this year, after dropping the title to Henderson in Japan, UFC president Dana White tried hard to push Edgar to the featherweight ranks. It was also rumored that an immediate title shot with Jose Aldo was waved in front of Edgar upon moving down.
Instead, “The Answer” pushed hard for his rematch with Henderson after having to do the same with BJ Penn and Gray Maynard.
Helwani also reported that Edgar hopes to make his debut in the weight class before the calendar turns to 2013.
Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Chael Sonnen has yet to even make his first UFC appearance at light heavyweight, but that hasn’t stopped him from calling out UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Last week, Sonnen made it official that he was entering the 205-pound picture and facing former champion Forrest Griffin in December.
Look, I will never fight Jones. He will never fight me. He is surrounded by a bunch of yes men. Is Chael better than me? They say yes. Will Chael beat me? They say yes. Will Chael take my title? They say yes. I don’t need to beat up Jon Jones, I just want to.
Sonnen’s words sound very similar to those that he threw out at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva prior to a second round TKO defeat at the hands of “The Spider.”
Sonnen and Henderson have shared many training gyms, so it is no wonder that Sonnen believes “Hendo” will dethrone Jones when they meet. Jones has been asked many times if he is not focusing on Henderson enough due to the issues with Sonnen, but the champion has constantly said the challenger has his attention.
I didn’t understand the whole thing. He has to focus to beat Dan Henderson, which he won’t do. I don’t think he should be focusing on me, he should be focusing on Dan Henderson’s right-hand. He says that I provided him with motivation, but Jones, isn’t that your coaches job? I mean, do you want me to give you the number to the bat phone and you can just call me and pay me 10-percent for my rhetorical skills? The only thing we need to know about Jones is which hospital we need to send the flowers to.
Photo credit: CombatLifestyle