How are you punished in the UFC for spitting at opposing corners and testing positive for PED? Well of course a head coaching spot on The Ultimate Fighter. Dave Meltzer reports that Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen are being tapped to be The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 head coaches.
The news speaks volumes on many levels as to how seriously the UFC takes failed drug tests. In addition to getting popped for a failed drug test in his last fight, Chael Sonnen plead guilty to money laundering as part of a case involving mortgage fraud. To top it off he is accused of lying about a conversation with Nevada commission Executive Director Keith Kizer to the California State Athletic Commission (which was under oath). Rewarding Sonnen’s behavior with one of the most visible spots in the UFC and arguably the biggest fight payoff of his career is almost sickening.
[adinserter block=”2″]It doesn’t get much better for the man rumored to oppose him. Michael Bisping was fined for spitting at his opponent’s corner immediately after his last fight. Not to mention, Bisping delivered a knee to a downed opponent which is illegal in the UFC. Bisping’s reward for his dastardly actions is the other most visible position in the UFC, the opposing head coach for The Ultimate Fighter season 14.
I get it. The Ultimate Fighter is a television show developed to deliver high ratings. Spike TV is paying the UFC to create the most exciting show possible for their network. Like them or not, there is no doubt that the UFC middleweights would create must-see television on The Ultimate Fighter. Their personalities are a recipe for intensity. As exciting as this prospect is, is it really worth the integrity of the UFC?
I am sorry but this whole scenario rubs me the wrong way. I am a huge MMA fan. I give the UFC a lot of attention on my blog and spend almost $1,000 a year buying their events. The one thing I like about Dana White is that he really does seem to promote the UFC with as much integrity as possible. Yes I know about the video blogs, but I mean inside the octagon. You rarely see guys in title matches that don’t deserve them (although it does happen see Vitor Belfort vs. Anderson Silva) and he does seem to take a lot of pride in presenting the most ethical product possible. Which is why even the thought of rewarding these two guys with the spot and a big money fight is a bit surprising in 2011.
It isn’t as if the UFC is out of options. There are plenty of fighters under contract that would be fun to watch on TUF. Granted, Sonnen and Bisping are hands down the UFC’s most entertaining pair but there are plenty of other charismatic personalities like Frank Mir, Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Jon Jones, Joe Miller, Clay Guida, Diego Sanchez, and Kenny Florian just to name a few who have played fair and are a bit more deserving of the rewards that come with coaching TUF as opposed to those two knuckleheads.
[adinserter block=”1″]I can bite my tongue on Bisping because at the end of the day, he wasn’t disqualified for the knee and he paid his price with a fine. But rewarding Chael Sonnen with that kind of exposure and big money fight is just wrong. It sends a bad message and opens up the door for other fighters to take shortcuts knowing the punishments won’t fit the crimes.
To be fair, Dana White has disputed these claims. He told MMAJunkie.com, “We have no clue who will coach; Chael has a ton of problems (right now).” Keep in mind that Dana has blatantly lied in the past when asked questions about The Ultimate Fighter so take this with a grain of salt. Dave Meltzer once again reported in his current newsletter that the UFC and Spike did agree on Sonnen and Bisping as coaches which flies against White claiming that he has “no clue.”
Also read into White’s statement a little bit. Dana cites Chael’s “problems” as the reason he won’t likely be coaching TUF. How about the fact the guy failed a PED and ripped people off as part of some mortgage fraud scheme? If Sonnen doesn’t coach it is only because he can’t get licensed and nothing more.
Too bad Lee Murray isn’t available.
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