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Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Sonnen Should Consider Permanent Move to Broadcast Booth If He Loses to Jones

Chael Sonnen (photo via UFC.com)

By Joshua Molina

Jon Jones is taking his usual hits for being one of the sport’s most arrogant and unlikable fighters.  Remember, this is a guy who let a show get canceled, allowing hungry fighters on the undercard to go without paychecks, because he refused to fight a substitute fighter at UFC 151.

Jones is 25, and like a lot of 25-year-olds, he thinks he is invincible. He’s not. The sooner he accepts that the more likable he will be.

All the greats lose. Cain Velasquez lost. Fedor Emelianenko lost. Even Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre have been knocked out or submitted.  Right now though, Jones thinks he’s going to be UFC heavyweight champion and retire undefeated. That’s just how he is.

The real story leading up to UFC 159 on April 27 is the fact that this could be the end of the road for Chael Sonnen. If he loses, it’s hard to imagine what’s next for him inside the cage.

He’ll make more money as a FOX analyst than as a fighter. The 36-year-old doesn’t have a lot of fights left, and he won’t be happy as a mid-card fighter.

Perhaps, if Jones doesn’t totally crush him, Sonnen could fight Wanderlei Silva in a grudge match. But that’s not really a fight Sonnen needs or should take.

But even as the two collide, win or lose, in the court of business and public opinion, Sonnen will be the long-term winner and Jones appears to be the long-term loser.

As it stands now, Jones is a star as long as he wins. But when he loses, look for him to fall off the cliff, far and long. People and promoters will put up with arrogant, self-absorbed athletes if they are winning. Once they lose though. . .

Sonnen, on the other hand, is a star whether he wins or loses. He has a job with FOX. The media go to him for quotes. Like Brock Lesnar, he could make millions of dollars in the WWE. He’s charismatic and likable. Nobody really cares whether he wins. They don’t even care if he fights.

That’s why come April 28, when Sonnen wakes up in his hotel room, if there isn’t a championship belt on his nightstand, it won’t really matter.

He’s got a long career ahead of outside the cage. The same can’t be said for Mr. Phillippians 4:13.

posted by JoshuaM @ 6:02 pm
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