Should Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping be given coaching slots on The Ultimate Fighter 14?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Bisping and Sonnen are two separate cases, so let’s handle them individually.
Should Bisping coach? Sure, why not? His biggest sin is being a bit of a wanker from time to time (Hey Mr Park, did I get that right? It’s ‘wanker’, right?). People will watch him becase he doesn’t have go-away heat, he has people-will-pay-to-see-him-get-his-ass-beat heat (Hey Mr. Keller, did I get that right? It’s ‘go-away heat’ and ‘people-will-pay-to-see-him-get-his-ass-beat heat’, right?).
Should Sonnen coach? This is a harder question to ask. First of all, it might be a moot point, because there’s no guarantee he can get licensed in Nevada anyhow. The main objection to his coaching, other than whether he can get licensed, seems to be of the moral/ethical variety. I tend to be passionately laissez-faire, personally. And yes, I know that is a paradox.
So, all that said, I think drug cheats should be suspended by commissions for a year, and that promotions should not award title shots for a full year after that. And yes, I know that I said promotions in the plural, as if there’s more than one promotion anymore. But it won’t affect my life at all if he coaches, so go ahead, coach, ya hoser.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think they will be fine coaches. Chael Sonnen’s recent trouble with steroids and tax evasion charges will make the show’s ratings better. I hate that, but it’s all about the ratings. His crazy and inappropriate rants will be television gold. Michael Bisping’s recent feud with Jorge Rivera and spitting at his corner in their fight will only make the TUF show bigger. I think these two are the most likely to coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. They should also have a great fight when the show is over.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
In a word, no. In two words, hell no. There’s no way that Chael Sonnen should be given a coaching slot of TUF 14. He’s bad news. At this point, I don’t think Michael Bisping should be given another coaching gig either. You can have them fight, but the UFC isn’t Extra or Entertainment Tonight, you can’t have these Charlie Sheen-types who spout off verbal diarrhea and say outrageous things just for publicity. That’s all Sonnen is at this point, he’s so delusional it’s not funny anymore. Yeah, the first episode might be somewhat entertaining, but his shtick gets old really fast. Almost any other two choices would be better.
GRIFFIN MARSH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Not in a million years. Why should a proven liar, cheater and financial criminal be given a spot coaching on the biggest show in MMA? I have no issues with Bisping coaching (granted it’s only because I want to see him get punched) but not someone with the character of Chael Sonnen.
CHRIS PARK, MMATORCH UK SPECIALIST
The speculation of a super fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre – to decide pound for pound best fighter on the planet – has left the lay of the land at 185 lbs. a little lack-lustre to say the least.
With Yushin Okami the next middleweight in line for a shot at Silva, the UFC needs to line up one or two challengers to follow Okami.
Michael Bisping looks close to getting the nod, while Chael Sonnen put an absolute beating on The Spider – before being submitted late in the fifth round – and so he himself deserves another shot at gold.
Both Bisping and Sonnen are brash characters who love to trash talk and to pit these two against one another on TUF makes perfect sense on so many levels.
It would be clear that their eventual bout would be a title eliminator and the filming of the season, the fight itself, and any subsequent recovery time would occupy these men while the top of the division levels itself out.
On top of all of that; imagine the television gold that these two would generate should they be thrown into the TUF minefield together.
Their war of words has been quite heated in the past so one could only imagine the outcome should this set of circumstances come to fruition.
MIKE BACIOR, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Yes. It’s probably fairly well known that I am a big fan of Sonnen, but in any case I think it would make for some excellent trash talk.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
No. Money-wise, yeah, it’s a good call by the UFC. Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping, with TUF build-up, should sell well on PPV. But Sonnen used illegal performance enhancers. He boosted his abilities with drugs that may compromise his longterm health. As an individual citizen, he should be able to make that choice, but not if he’s competing in a combat sport where his opponents, if they want to even the playing field, are forced to take serious risks with their own health. In a just world (which, you know, is the one with me in charge), Sonnen doesn’t get this fame and pay day.
ALVIN CARTER, MMATORCH SPECIALIST
I have to say Sonnen would make for great TV, and he could give the TUF cast a lot of great wrestling advice, but he might go over the top and offend some viewers. I am less worried about Bisping, but who knows if he will get mad enough to s***-talk Sonnen.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
As far as Bisping is concerned, him coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter doesn’t bother me much. Sure, he crossed a line in spitting at Rivera’s corner; he reacted poorly to the pre-fight trash talk and he’s apologized and has faced monetary withholding from the UFC.
He’s certainly not on Sonnen’s level.
After injecting testosterone prior to his bout with Anderson Silva at UFC 117, and believing adequate “disclosure” of TRT was a verbal conversation the day of without filling out proper paperwork or getting it officially cleared through proper channels – if it indeed was a legitimately and medically necessary treatment – Sonnen remained unapologetic about the entire situation, and only got his suspension reduced from the CSAC because they didn’t do their jobs despite Sonnen providing zero evidence to warrant the reduction of the suspension.
Add to that the fact that he made even more false claims regarding Keith Kizer and having been cleared for TRT in Nevada, he simply shouldn’t be given this high profile slot. He got his slap on the wrist and can get back in the cage if the UFC wants to book him, but getting this added exposure isn’t a spot the UFC should give him.