There were some concerns or at least curiosity among MMA fans when Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones didn't appear to have the type of animus or rivalry that mirrored Sonnen's relationship with Anderson Silva. Heck, it didn't even mirror what Sonnen and Jones had around the cancellation of UFC 151. It was bland and ordinary (although I personally prefer that).
Fast forward to today. Chael Sonnen was interviewed by (one-time?) professional wrestler Steve Austin. Sonnen told Austin that not only did his UFC contract expire months ago, but he never had one to begin with when he fought Anderson Silva. He simply 'showed up', as it were. If you believe that, I've got some ocean front property to sell you in Arizona.
Now comes word that in real life, Sonnen was attacked by a fan last weekend in Las Vegas at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. Sonnen was glad-handing with fans when one summoned him over. Sonnen obliged only to be at the receiving end of attempted punches, which didn't land, but still caused the attacker to be rather violently taken out of the premises and likely booked on charges of assault.
All of this is to say the build-up to UFC 159 has been weird, uneven and late. I'm not here to declare it DOA, but it's certainly much different than what we are normally accustomed to, Sonnen or otherwise. Then again, anything is better than the 'We Will Rock You' promo clip the UFC tried to circulate a few weeks ago.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
UFC on FOX 7 pre-fight interviews. Our own Ariel Helwani catches up with UFC President Dana White and all of the fighters from Saturday's main card at yesterday's media day. Catch up on what you missed.
Dana says he's cured. According to the UFC President, a procedure he had in Germany involving stem cells and spinning blood has '100%' cured him of his Meniere's Disease.
Duke Roufus speaks. The legendary striking coach talks fight attitudes, fending off elite wrestlers and much more.
'The Janitor' heads to Bellator. After being cut by the UFC, Vladmimir Matyushenko is now headed to the waters of Bellator where he'll compete in the light heavyweight division.
New episode of Sonnen's War: Episode 4. It's not news, exactly. Well, it's not news at all. It's a comic book feature with photoshopped heads of fighters, but it's worth a glance just the same.
Bec Hyatt has published her post-fight video blog after her armbar win at Invicta 5. Warning, there's a bit of foul language in this piece.
What happens when two of the best Internet-based, fan-made video creators go head-to-head in a battle to see who produces the best highlight reel? Well, this:
Dana White held a scrum with the media yesterday that lasted over an hour. Watch the entire thing here:
Canelo vs. Trout is just one day away. Prepare yourself for its greatness by watching Canelo Alvarez whoop up on Josesito Lopez:
Dallas Winston and Eugene Robinson of Bloody Elbow preview UFC on FOX 7 with their '60 Minute Chaos!' series:
I guess choking people out on request is Royce Gracie's party trick
THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUES
8 - the number where your winning streaks ends and your losing streak begins. #UFC159 #4/27/13— chael sonnen (@sonnench) April 18, 2013
BONES GETS HIS KICKS
JONES PUSHES BACK AGAINST MEDIA
Man you reporters are confusing, how am I not promoting the fight? Sorry I'm not yapping foolishness like Chael. Lol can a brotha live!!!— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 19, 2013
LUKE AND KHABIB READY TO DO WORK
Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) April 18, 2013
KICKIN' IT OLD SCHOOL
Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) April 19, 2013
Ramsey Nijem (@RamseyNijem) April 18, 2013
Seth Petruzelli (@silverbackseth) April 19, 2013
IT CAN BE, YES
Was just buying beer the clerk too my ID and said " 1983...you're holding up good for your age". is 30 the new "old"? :(— Bart Palaszewski (@Bartimus7) April 18, 2013
WELL-ROUNDED OR BORED?
Reading out riddles with the team killing some time @themmalab what can we say our minds gotta work too!!!— Efrain Escudero (@effyescudero) April 19, 2013
MY LEGS! I CAN WALK! I CAN SEE!
Dana, you're already on the "treated" list in wikipedia!en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthokine" for those of u that r interested how I got healed.— Dana White (@danawhite) April 19, 2013
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FANPOST OF THE DAY
When Ben Henderson finally meets Gil Melendez on Saturday night, the UFC title will not be the only thing on the line. In lineal terms, there will be a total of 16 different Lightweight titles at stake from various past and present MMA promotions.
For those who are not as familiar with the term, a lineal title considers a championship belt as something that is not bound by promotion, but rather a title that must be won in a fight. Another way to think about it is "The Guy Who Beat the Guy." For example, when Hector Lombard recently left Bellator to sign with the UFC, he was still considered to be the Bellator Middleweight champion. In the Lineal Title world, he did not lose his belt until Tim Boetsch took it from him at UFC 149. After that, Philippou beat Boetsch. Therefore, Philippou is the Bellator MW champion in Lineal terms.
Below is a list of all the Lightweight titles that are at stake Saturday night and how they arrived at their current owners:
History: Pulver > Ludwig > Griffin > Edgar > Maynard > Edgar > Henderson
2. Pride FC
History: Gomi > Aurelio > Ishida > Gomi > Diaz > Noons > Mazvidal > Melendez
History: Melendez > Ishida > Uno > Aoki > Hansen > Aoki > Melendez
History: Guida > Melendez > Thomson > Melendez
History: Schultz > Hirota > Yokota > Kitaoka > Hirota > Aoki > Melendez
History: Noons > Masvidal > Melendez
History: Hansen > Aoki > Melendez
History: Kitaoka > Hirota > Aoki > Melendez
History: Aoki > Melendez
History: Maruyama > Yamazaki > Tokoro > Nakamura > Kotani > Masvidal > Melendez
History: Kohler > Hurley > Ribeiro > Kawajiri > Gomi > Aurelio > Gomi > Diaz > Noons > Masvidal > Melendez
12. K-1 Hero's
History: Cavalcante > Aoki > Hansen > Aoki > Melendez
History: Mishima > Edwards > Hansen > Sakurai > Gomi > Aurelio > Gomi > Diaz > Noons > Masvidal > Melendez
14. Cage Rage
History: Strebendt > Thomson > Edwards > Hansen > Sakurai > Gomi > Aurelio > Gomi > Diaz > Noons > Masvidal > Melendez
15. Ring of Combat
History: Miller > Maynard > Edgar > Henderson
16. Tachi Palace
History: Ruediger > Lauzon > Sotiropoulos > Siver > Cerrone > Diaz > Henderson