The Ultimate fighter has always been a mixed bag for me. It started out great in the beginning, but progressively took a nose dive over the last four or five years. When they announced this season's coaches were Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones, I decided to give it another go, and so far, I've not been disappointed. The first three episodes have been great, despite the fact that there's virtually no drama between the coaches. Admittedly, that was my main reason for giving this season a shot. The coaches have been amicable, and seem to bear a remarkable amount of respect for each other. I don't know if that vibe will last throughout the remaining shows, but I still anticipate each new episode. I had the chance to conduct an e-mail interview with Sonnen, to get his thoughts on the current season and a few other relevant topics. It is unedited in it's entirety.
1. Were you surprised at all that Dan Henderson said he'd be willing to fight you, and would it be unsettling/disconcerting to fight a friend and former training partner or just business as usual?
Perhaps "Hendo" is forgetting all the years of me destroying him in the practice-room. Or, perhaps, I am remembering events that never occurred to bolster my fragile ego, reverse-engineer the past, and provide you with the kind of clever, snide, answer that journalists like you have come to expect from me. It's one or the other. I'll get back to you.
2. Do you think the current ranking system the UFC has taken up should be tossed out and re-tooled or just tossed out entirely?
I reject the premise of your question. Don't present me with a simplistic "either/or" proposal; it represents a basic logical fallacy, it excludes all lines of "thought" other than the 2 you propose, it is amateurish and clumsy. With that said, any system requires time for data accumulation, and review, before its merits can be gauged. Give it time to mature. Like I'm trying to give YOU, sister.
3. During the filming of TUF, did Jones do anything at all that managed to get under your skin?
Yes. He did something to absolutely infuriate me. It rankles me to this very minute. I forget what it was.
4. Now that it's been made clear who the 'killer' on the show is that Dana was talking about, did you immediately start having more concerns for the guys that would have to face him?
Jerry Lee Lewis was "The Killer"; until O.J. Simpson came along and started decapitating his way to a share of the nickname. And neither of them was on the show.
5. What were you thinking when you saw that Cella knockout?
"I wonder how the Judges are gonna have this one...."
6. Uriah Hall gave you glowing praise as a coach and stated that he was so glad you picked him for your team. Would it ever interest you head up an elite fight camp full time, or is broadcasting the way you're inclined, for your post fight career?
I would prefer to head up a mediocre team of scruffy never-do-wells who come together and win the big tournament with the help of a "wise-crackin' "urban" type", a "spunky girl who nobody gave a chance", and a "skinny nerd w/glasses from the Upper East Side who has to save the team with heroics borne of an inner courage he never knew he possesed". Then we can sell the story to Disney and I can buy a houseboat and a few fishin' poles, and me, Jones, Hendo, Anderson, and everybody else I am gonna destroy in the next few years can all go fishing together and avoid questions like this and people like you.
7. If you were to select one positive trait about Jon Jones, which one comes to mind first?
He loves his family, and he treats his team with respect. But he's still gettin' a "Dirty Jersey" ass-whuppin' in April.
8. Do you have any unrealized goals outside of MMA that you'd like to accomplish?
No. When I am done w/MMA, my life ends, and I ascend to Valhalla. Idiot.
9. As popular as you are, one would imagine that you have some crazy fans. Do you have a 'crazy fan' story that sticks out in your mind?
Had one fan that acted really weird. Returned it, had air-conditioners installed. Problem solved.
10. Tell me something about yourself that nobody knows.
If you are who I think you are, I may have....."dated" your Mom.
You can follow Chael via his Twitter account, @SonnenCh