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