Watching middleweight champ Anderson Silva smash Stephan Bonnar this Saturday, UFC fans got another wildly entertaining glance at the fighter many experts consider to be the world’s best. The dissenting opinions? Many think the top dog is light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who, according to the Los Angeles Times, just got his next fight: April 27, 2013, against uber-heel and former top middleweight contender Chael Sonnen.
The matchmaking is a tad conspicuous, though. Sonnen, while as tough as they come, hasn’t fought at LHW since UFC 55 in 2005. He was scheduled to make his LHW debut against former champ Forrest Griffin on the UFC’s end-of-the-year card in late December, but now, apparently, that bout has been scrapped in favor of an automatic title shot against ‘Bones’ Jones.
Yeah, there are definitely a few more deserving candidates at LHW right now. If Swedish powerhouse Alexander Gustaffsson gets past ‘Shogun’ Rua, it probably would be fair to give him a title shot, as would it be fitting to recreate the original LHW title fight of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson that was canceled last month when Henderson went down with a training injury.
The UFC, however, has some business considerations to take into account. First, Jones will be on the shelf with an arm injury suffered during Vitor Belfort’s near armbar finish of him at UFC 152. Jones’s return would nicely coincide with the April fight and a coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter FX, which has suffered free-falling ratings.
A TUF rejuvenation could very well come from not only one of the most talked about fighters on the planet (Jones), but also from the most talkative UFC’er in the promotion today: Chael Sonnen. Sonnen’s antics could draw droves of viewers that have abandoned the show as it’s grown older and increasingly tired and repetitive.