“The Ultimate Fighter 17″ is still two-and-a-half months from airing on FX, but that isn’t stopping coach Chael Sonnen from giving the public a hard sell on the show.
On a Wednesday afternoon conference call, in which the UFC formally announced Sonnen would be coaching the show opposite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Sonnen explained how he believes the tournament format on the reality show is the most difficult single-elimination tournament in sports today.
“This show is the single biggest, toughest elimination tournament in all of sport,” Sonnen explained. “I keep seeing people refer to TUF as ‘a reality show’, but this is tougher than the Olympic Games, this is tougher than an NFL season, it is a 16-man tournament of fighting taped over six weeks.”
“This is so tough, guys like Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans come out of it and win world titles.”
Sonnen is correct in that “The Ultimate Fighter” is unlike any other tournament on earth. The upcoming season will feature all middleweight fighters and in order to reach the finals, two men must win four fights in the span of six-weeks. Along with having to live in a house with a group of strangers, “TUF” is the ultimate test of physical and mental strength.
Since the inception of the show back in 2005, nine different men who once competed on “The Ultimate Fighter” have fought for a world championship. Sonnen knows the concept is capable of molding future contenders and champions. The next future MMA superstar may come from Team Sonnen, and that’s why he encourages you to tune in each week.
“Write this down – the toughest tournament in MMA is coming to FX. This isn’t four fights over 12 months, it is all over a very short period of time and I am excited to coach this show.”
Sonnen will face off against Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship on April 27 once the show finishes taping and airs on FX. The 35-year-old knows he will have his chance to get his hands on Jones in a real fight, but from the time taping begins on Oct. 29, Sonnen plans on out coaching Jones.
“I’m going to take half of these guys and teach them to be fighters, Jon is going to take the other half and teach them to be selfish.”