PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

October 27, 2012

David Estrada column: Bones Jones vs. Sonnen stirs emotions

PORT ARTHUR — About a month ago, the MMA world was fixated by the drama of UFC 151.

    After a string of injuries, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones turned down

a replacement bout with middleweight trash-talker Chael Sonnen. One thing Jones

cited the lack of credibility Sonnen had to challenge for the title. After all,

Sonnen lost his last bout against Anderson Silva at middleweight and hadn't

competed in the UFC at light heavyweight since 2005 which he lost to Babalu

Sobral.

    The headlining of Jones' refusal to face Sonnen led to the event's

cancellation outright.

    Chael Sonnen may not be an elite level fighter but he has legions of fans and

even more haters from the public persona he created. His trash-talking is at

WWE levels and he lobbied for the Jones bout extensively on television and

social media.

    “Jon Bones Jones should fight Chael Sonnen - Yay and Nay?" was the most divisive

positions ever for UFC followers. The strong stance MMA fans had with it

rivaled that of Obama or Romney in the presidential election; it was about

equally divided with unmovable feelings for both sides. The answer became a

resounding "Nay", as Jones declined to meet Sonnen which ultimately led to UFC

151 cancelation.

    In an unprecedented "Dewey Defeats Truman" mixed martial arts moment, Bones

Jones had an about face and accepted a fight against Chael Sonnen. The bout

will occur in early 2013.

    Those opposed to the bout take a big hit, feeling the sport is about the best

fighting the best. There are several other viable light heavyweight challengers

who could have faced Jones. One should not be able talk himself in front of

the line after fabricating a character like Sonnen did.

    MMA followers should face the facts, however. The UFC is not just a sport, it's

a business. Sonnen is a polarizing fighter people love to hate and the bottom

line is, well . . the bottom line. Bones Jones vs. Sonnen will have a

tremendous pay-per-view buy rate. The only thing that will have more commas and

zeros than the bout's financial statement is Bones Jones' fight odds against

Sonnen. That said, those who voted "Yay" better be careful what they wish for.

    In other MMA news, the UFC will be holding two events in November. The UFC will

be holding its first event in China on Nov. 10th for UFC on Fuel TV 6. One week

later for UFC 154, Georges St. Pierre returns to the Octagon coming off of an

ACL injury to defend his welterweight title against Carlos Condit.

    Texas fans should take heed to this bout. If St. Pierre defeats Condit, he is

expected to face UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for a cross-division

super fight. Cowboys Stadium up in Arlington is the front runner to hold the

matchup should it occur.

    Dana White stated he's been in talks with Jerry Jones

for years about holding a mega event there. The timing may be perfect with

football season wrapping up in early 2013. Please, no Cowboys jokes.

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News

DavidEstrada@DavidEstrada.com

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

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From the Fieldhouse blog