, Port Arthur, Texas

May 4, 2013

David Estrada column: UFC dodged bullet on Chael Sonnen bout

David Estrada
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Is MMA a sport or entertainment? Apparently for Chael Sonnen it's a circus, as

he plays ringmaster promoting himself for a show.

It's a well known controversy how Sonnen trash talked his way into getting a UFC

light heavyweight title fight against Jon Bones Jones at the UFC 159 event last

weekend. Sonnen was coming off of a loss at middleweight against Anderson Silva,

yet publicly nagged Bones Jones for a fight.

Undeserving of a title fight in a

UFC division he had never fought in, Sonnen was granted the title shot largely

based on public interest from the sideshow he created.

It was a good thing for the sport that Bones Jones prevailed in their matchup

last weekend via first round technical knockout. If Sonnen had successfully

lobbied his way into getting the title fight, and won the title, it could have

sent the wrong message out to aspiring fighters – you can get to the top by

marketability rather than merit.

Jones was a 10-1 favorite by some Vegas oddsmakers but he narrowly averted

disaster in the bout. During the middle of the first round. Jones planted his

foot on the canvas and his left big toe snapped. It was an injury so gruesome

it's making the rounds on the internet.

No one including the referee and doctors saw the injury and Jones was able to continue on with his adrenaline pumping. Later in the round Jones got Sonnen down on the mat and rained down

elbows and punches when the referee jumped in to end the fight.

If Jones could not have continued due to pain from the toe injury, or if the

referee had seen it and stopped the fight, by the Unified Rules of MMA Sonnen

would have been declared winner by technical knockout via injury. It's hard to

believe that such a heavy favorite and fighter who was winning almost every

second of the bout came so close to losing on a technicality.

Not only did Jones come close to a loss but the sport itself came close. One's

just got to believe the ringmaster himself would have lived up the win promoting

a rematch and other bouts. Sonnen's message of how to get ahead would have been

announced from the highest podium in the sport.

But all things happen for a reason and Sonnen lost, showing fans Mixed Martial

Arts really is The Greatest Sport on Earth.

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at