With the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) reality television show, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), not doing so well in the ratings, FX officials revealed they would be moving away from the Friday night time-slot for the airing of the show in hopes of bringing back viewers.
You couple that with the Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen going head-to-head as coaches on the show, and the UFC and FX team have themselves a sure-fire recipe for fattening up those very, very thin ratings.
TUF 17, which is currently in production, is a few months way from airing and already new strategic moves on the part of FX and the UFC seem to be paying off as the next installment will have a new set of eyeballs in the form of former UFC welterweight champion, Matt Hughes.
Hughes, who says he isn’t a fan of TUF — or any profanity laced show for that matter — revealed to BJPenn.com he will tune in next season just to see what Sonnen is up to on set. In addition, he says despite some people’s outrage at the booking of Sonnen vs. Jones for the light heavyweight title, he feels “The American Gangster” deserves the fight because he is the only one who stepped up.
“Chael stepped up and tried to fight Jones when they needed an opponent and that means a lot. Because he stepped up maybe he should get the fight. To be honest I think it will make for an interesting show because Sonnen is an interesting guy. I really don’t tune into TUF all that much because it’s not my type of show. I don’t watch a lot of TV that has a lot of vulgarity and cussing. I’ve got three kids in my house and if the TV is on there’s a good chance SpongeBob Squarepants is on! I do think I’m going to try and catch Chael a little bit and see what he’s up to. Sonnen and Jones make for an interesting match-up which could lead to some interesting conversations.”
There is perhaps no better mouthpiece in mixed martial arts (MMA) when it comes to selling a fight than Sonnen. So much so that many legends of the sport have even contemplated enlisting into “shit talking school” in order to earn their title shots.
With his quick wit, sharp tongue and professional wrestling-inspired promos, Sonnen has proven — despite some fans’ disdain toward his non-stop chatter — in the end, they will more than likely tune into to a pay-per-view (PPV) event to see him compete and either have his hand raised in victory or his face bloodied up in defeat.
Something Hughes says has helped him become a top money-maker for the UFC:
“If Sonnen truly is in the top five pay-per-view sales, I would go out on a limb and say that half of the fans watch him to see him win and the other half tune in to watch him lose. Every one of those fans turn on the television to hear what is going to come out of his mouth next. I’ve always thought he could have his own reality show because he’s a pretty interesting cat!”
A reality television show that features the rabble-rousing Republican? Somewhere in TV land, a producer’s light bulb just went on.
Before Sonnen get’s his agent to start lining up television deals, the former NCAA Division 1 All-American wrestler has business at hand, namely grooming the next wave of aspiring UFC fighters, as well as shifting his attention to “Bones,” whom he will face on April 27, 2013, for the UFC’s 205-pound title
How about it Maniacs, if you were one of the many fans that didn’t tune in to this season of TUF, will you do so next season on order to catch up with Sonnen … and maybe even Jones?