Sonnen turned down TUF 1, Jones once rejected from tryouts

by John Morgan | source:

Sonnen, who coaches on the upcoming 17th edition of the series, says he actually turned down a spot on "TUF 1."

"When the show very first started, the first coaches ever were my coach, friend, teammate Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell, arguably the greatest light heavyweight ever," Sonnen told ( "In fact, the argument would be between those two: Chuck and Randy. I was just a fan. I watched it as a fan. They asked me to be on the show 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.

Sonnen's opposing coach also had a near-miss with "The Ultimate Fighter," albeit much later in the show's run. Because of the presence of alcohol in the "TUF" house, contestants must be at least 21 years old. Jones, who would go on to win the UFC's 205-pound title at just 23 years old, was underage when he went to an open tryout session and was ultimately told there was no way to bend the rules.

"I tried out for 'The Ultimate Fighter' back when I was 20 years old," Jones said. "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."

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Recent Comments »

Salokcin69 site profile image  

11/25/12 5:05 PM by Salokcin69


FingerorMoon site profile image  

11/25/12 4:15 PM by FingerorMoon

I'm sure there is a Jones DUI joke in here somewhere....

stonepony site profile image  

11/25/12 3:31 PM by stonepony

Also, the reason Jones and Chael are getting along, is because they're both nice respectable guys. Haters have to hate, but it's pretty obvious IMO.

stonepony site profile image  

11/25/12 3:30 PM by stonepony

The kid is ONLY 25 now... And, when he tried out for TUF he probably wasn't any better than the other competition. He might not have made the cut then, even without the age limit. It is absolutely amazing how he has progressed. Watch his first fight in the UFC, he was nothing special. He has been better and better every single time he shows up. He'll beat Anderson, IMO, and in 5 years when he has the HW belt, nobody will talk about Anderson, or Georges, or Fedor, when they're discussing the GOAT.

Skip2MyLou site profile image  

11/25/12 5:05 AM by Skip2MyLou

So would Chael Sonnen have won TUF 1 had he been on?Likely would have been at 205 at the time so Bonnar, Forrest, Southworth, Swick, Hoger.What say you UG?

UGCTT_Fraser_Finlay site profile image  

11/25/12 4:56 AM by UGCTT_Fraser_Finlay

Ahh. That explains it. Didn't know what the legal drinking age was in Australia lol.

Book4 site profile image  

11/25/12 12:20 AM by Book4

well yeah the UFC gotta get that "brown pride" money

SupesUp site profile image  

11/24/12 11:53 PM by SupesUp

Hah I like this

BrunoMcGyver site profile image  

11/24/12 11:44 PM by BrunoMcGyver

According to his wiki page, Jon Fitch was also rejected from a TUF season in a last minute change that left him at an airport with his checked luggage already on the plane.

NotImpressedByYourScreenName site profile image  

11/24/12 11:23 PM by NotImpressedByYourScreenName

Yup, legal drinking age in Oz is 18. Can't believe you can fight wars for the US but can't drink.