Interesting news has emerged that Jon Jones wasn’t actually the UFC’s first pick to coach The Ultimate Fighter 17 opposite Chael Sonnen – they initially wanted Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson to do it instead.
Both the fighter himself and UFC president Dana White have confirmed as much, but in the end they chose Jones instead after ‘Rampage’ decided against it due to Sonnen’s fighting style.
“I don’t want to fight Chael,” ‘Rampage’ told MMAfighting. “He’s the kind of fighter that I don’t want to fight. He’s a boring fighter that just wants to hump people.”
The pairing of ‘Rampage’ and Sonnen would certainly have made a lot of sense – more so than the current coaching match-up.
It would have removed the negative reaction from some fans about Sonnen getting an immediate title shot at 205lbs, and from a purely entertainment-based perspective, ‘Rampage’ would have given Sonnen much more of a run for his money in the trash-talking stakes.
We’ve already seen that in the past when ‘Rampage’ coached opposite Rashad Evans on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 and produced the most heated rivalry ever on the show, leading to big TV ratings and over a million pay-per-view buys when they finally settled their differences at UFC 114.
It would also have been a way for ‘Rampage’ to finish off his UFC career with a bang and potentially make a lot of money in the process, but the 34 year-old has always danced to the beat of his own drum and it appears he has something else in mind.
Currently he appears to be favoring a fight with Glover Teixeira, purely it seems because he believes that the Brazilian will give him the kind of straight-ahead striking battle that he is craving.
He’s also indicated that he would also have liked to have settled an old score with Forrest Griffin who he also coached opposite on a previous edition of TUF before losing his light-heavyweight title to him.
As things stand the indications are that it will be Teixeira who’ll serve as his opponent, and that’s certainly should be an entertaining fight, and one that he’ll have to rediscover his best form if he wants to emerge victorious from.