Tuesday night Lance Pugmire from LATimes.com announced that UFC Lightheavyweight champion Jon Jones would face challenger Chael Sonnen on April 27, 2013, following a season as opposing coaches on the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Initial fan reaction was split, not so much from fan to fan as within each fan - most people thought simultaneously that A. It would be a highly entertaining series, and B. Who did Sonnen beat to earn a shot at the Lightheavyweight title?
Among the surprised was Chael Sonnen, according to his trainer.
"It was a surprise to me," Sonnen's head trainer Scott McQuary told Bleacher Report."And I just talked to Chael a few minutes ago and it was a surprise to him too. I had just walked out of the movie Here Comes The Boom, and one of my students left me a message saying call me right now, Chael's made The Ultimate Fighter.
"I called him and he's like 'yea, I just found out myself. I didn't know. We had no idea this offer was going to be on the table.'"
"We had just started our training for him (Griffin) last week. Chael's been fairly consistent with his training, but we hadn't been 100 percent focused until this last week. Cheal told me a contract was signed, so we felt up until this morning, the fight was happening."
"I think Chael deserves this opportunity because he's the best there is out there. He puts butts in the seats. It has to be a combination of putting the two best people together who actually draw the biggest crowd."
"I think with the buildup, The Ultimate Fighter and everything that goes with what I've seen with TUF, I think this will be promoted in such a way. The UFC has a long time to get this promoted and built up. I think this will be the biggest fight in history."
"I anticipate that it will be (best TUF season). I think you are going to get more people watching than ever, that's for sure. I mean you have two of the biggest personalities in MMA, well at least one of them, who is definitely going to speak what's on his mind."
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