Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen are currently filming ‘The Ultimate Fighter 17’ in Las Vegas where they star as the team coaches, but it turns out they have something else in common – they both were flirting with the idea of being fighters on the long-running reality show before they were famous.

Below you can read quotes from an interview in MMAJunkie in which the two men recall just how close they came to being contestants on the show.

Chael Sonnen:

They asked me to be on [The Ultimate Fighter Season 1] as an athlete, and I passed on the chance. It was on a different network at that time, but an executive at that office invited me on as an athlete. Then I loved the show.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what it was. I sat down and watched it, and I regretted that decision. I really enjoyed watching it, and all these years later, here I am.”

Jon Jones:

“I tried out for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ back when I was 20 years old.  I remember making it through the first round and then approaching a table to grapple for the second round and having Dana – I think himself, I remember him being at the table – saying, ‘Man, you’re too young. You’re 20 years old, and you have to be 21 to apply for this show, but we’re going to let you roll anyways. But you can’t go much further than this.’ I was like, ‘Alright.’ I was rolling and having a great time, and that was it. That was the end of the scenario.”