UFC fans have been getting yanked around so much lately it feels like we’re starting to get whiplash. Events go from one headline fight to another to another, entire cards are restructured on a regular basis now, and a lot of the fights we end up with don’t make a hell of a lot of sense to anyone. That trend continues as Jon Jones will now face off against Chael Sonnen sometime in April … after a full season of TUF shenanigans:
“The Ultimate Fighter” with Jones and Sonnen is set to begin shooting on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas, with a debut in early January as young middleweights participate in a tournament that leads up to an April “TUF” finale at the Vegas Hard Rock Hotel, where the winner will receive a multi-fight UFC contract.
“This should be a good one,” White said of matching arguably his organization’s best fighter against its top personality. “Jon has accepted the fight. He knows the fans want to see that fight.”
The April fight date for the two was necessary, White said, because Jones was examined by a doctor in Los Angeles two weeks ago and it was discovered that his right arm, twisted badly in a Sept. 22 bout, had been injured and will require physical therapy and a layoff from mixed martial arts.
While the roller-coaster ride of stupidity we took to get here might leave many of us banging our heads against our desk, you can’t help but admit that yeah, you’ll tune into TUF to see this. And boy does TUF need a little bit of that. This morning we reported that TUF pulled a miserable new record low of 600k viewers, which is just a slight drop from the 1.7 million average the show used to draw on Spike TV. They don’t call it the Friday Night Death Slot for nothing, folks.
These are the kind of numbers that put a show in jeopardy of getting cancelled, and the only reason TUF can even get another season is because it’s part of the crazy spiderweb deal the UFC has across several of FOX’s channels. That won’t save the show forever, though. Something serious has to happen if TUF’s future is to be secured. Will Jones vs Sonnen be enough?