UFC president Dana White was a little on edge during a recent conference call to promote and officially announce UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as the next coaches on The Ultimate Fighter. After news first broke of the match up, several fighters sounded off on Sonnen’s lack of a resume at 205 pounds.
White, however, stated several times during the call that Sonnen was the only fighter to agree to face Jones. Others turned the fight down, leaving the UFC in a predicament. White added that since Jones is out of action with an elbow injury until 2013, putting him on TUF with Sonnen allows the rest of the division to sort itself out.
“Basically Jon Jones is out until April. He’s going to be sitting around for months anyway, unable to fight, “White said. “It makes sense for him to do The Ultimate Fighter. And everyone has been talking about this fight with Chael, so it made sense for them to do TUF and then fight.”
Contenders Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Alexander Gustafsson are set to meet in December, while it appears the UFC is planning on placing Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson in a bout as soon as Henderson is cleared to fight again.
“We’re not clogging up the light heavyweight division; the champion is hurt and we are keeping the division rolling along,” White said. “By the time Jon comes back, the contenders will be ready: one, two, three.”