Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
The UFC has already announced Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, and it looks like the fight will take place where Jones won the UFC LHW belt -- in New Jersey.
Last week the UFC announced that Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen would be coaches on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter and that Sonnen would obviously fight Jones for the title as a result. The date is set for April 27th, 2013, and according to MMA Weekly, it looks like this one is headed for New Jersey.
The Ultimate Fighter Finale will take place at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, but it’s not going to feature the coaches. Jones vs. Sonnen will instead head a pay-per-view fight card on April 27, likely in New Jersey.
The location isn’t set, yet, but UFC president Dana White this week indicated that a return to the East Coast is the target.
"The finale will be at The Hard Rock," said White. "(TUF 17) premieres in January and then we’re talking right now – this isn’t etched in stone – but we’re talking about New Jersey for the Jones fight."
The last time Jon Jones headlined a PPV event in New Jersey was in March 2011, when he obliterated Mauricio Rua to capture the title. He has since defended the belt successfully on four occasions, and a fifth would tie Tito Ortiz's record for consecutive title defenses at 205 lbs.
Much has been made about Sport vs. Entertainment in booking this fight as well as the validity of Chael's title shot, but Sonnen hasn't lost at LHW since 2005, which is nothing to scoff at. That's SEVEN years of loser-free fights at 205 lbs, and that's longer than Jon Jones' entire MMA career. It's quite clearly the correct choice based on this logic.