Jones to defend belt against Sonnen in late April

Published on Oct. 16, 2012, at 7:20 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced Tuesday that Jon ‘Bones’ Jones and Chael Sonnen will be the coaches for Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter. Also, Jones will defend his light heavyweight belt against Sonnen on April 27 of next year at a to-be-determined venue.

Obviously, Sonnen’s fight against Forrest Griffin has been cancelled. opened Jones as a minus-600 favorite vs. Sonnen, who is plus-400 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $400).

Jones was offered this fight for UFC 151 after Dan Henderson was forced to pull out of the main event with a knee injury. However, he drew the ire of fans and Dana White by turning down the fight even though Sonnen hadn’t been training and would be fighting on just eight days of notice.

The result was the cancellation of the entire show. Sonnen seized upon this opportunity to deal out verbal woodshed treatment to Jones.

Among many of his gems, Sonnen wondered aloud in an interview with ESPN, “I don’t know why he won’t fight me next Saturday night. Is there a wine tasting at the local racetrack or something?”

Sonnen is coming off a second-round KO loss to Anderson Silva for the middleweight belt. He clearly doesn’t deserve a shot at the 205-pound strap, but who can blame the UFC in this situation?

For starters, Sonnen’s incredible gift of gab (He’s THE Best Shit Talker Ever!) will make for outstanding TV ratings for TUF. Plus, the hype for the fight will be remarkable after Jones and Sonnen go at each other during filming for the show.

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