Posts Tagged ‘Ufc On Fox’

 

Photo by: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

Photo by: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

By: Jonathan M. King

The best way to describe Chael P. Sonnen’s personality is polarizing. His cantankerous approach and quick tongue leave most people who come across him on one side of the room or the other. Not many  folks find themselves in limbo when asked “What do you think of Chael?” He is charismatic, talented, extremely intelligent, and his fight analysis is as cerebral as anyone in the business. He can also be a dick. A big one! He doesn’t mind playing the bad guy. He understands that in the world of entertainment everyone has a role to play.

These characteristics are the reason he became the face of the UFC on FOX. Simply put, no one else was a better fit. He was the perfect ambassador for the sport. A good looking, witty dude, who engaged the camera as if it were the viewer themselves. Sonnen made you part of the broadcast weather you agreed with him or not, he involved the viewers. His WWE style promos endered fans who once thought him as brash, but now branded him as ‘colorful’.

Most importantly he raised everyone else’s game to his level. He made Karyn Bryant that much better than she already was… His back and forth exchanges with Kenny Florian, were always hysterical, and his presence made the shows fun to watch. Sort of the way Will Ferrel does, Sonnen’s presence commands the room. You never can be sure what you are going to get from him, and that edginess created a ‘Howard Stern-like’ quality that even his detractors had to watch.

Then it all disappeared. Following two failed drug test (for competition in the UFC, not narcotics) Sonnen was released from his position at FOX, the network cited his conduct as their reasoning.

Ever since the quality of the FOX broadcasting of UFC events has been lacking. Sonnen’s chair has been filled with an ever-changing group of fighters that include (most recently) Josh Koscheck, Matt Serra, Chris Lytle, and Jake Ellenberger. All of whom made Sonnen’s absence that much more obvious with less than stellar performances.

Broadcasting and working with other broadcasters is an artform. A talent that Sonnen has displayed naturally. Maybe we miss him now because those who have tried to replace him have been horrible. However I don’t think its about the what the others lack, per say, its more about what Sonnen possesses. Simply put they’re failures are that they are not Chael!

Not everyone is meant to be a fighter. The same can be said about analysts.  Sonnen’s absence from the FOX broadcast team has shined a glaring spotlight on that fact. The void left in his absence is tremendous. It reminds me of what the news must have been like after Cronkite left…There was no news, because he WAS the news!

Punishment and forgiveness go hand in hand. With the circumstances around this case, with the types of drugs he was taking, and the reasons for taking them (coming off of TRT, and fertility treatments for the soon to be father), maybe its time to forgive. Not because he is needed so badly but….well yeah, because he is needed so badly.

Lets face facts ‘The UFC on FOX’ programming is horrible without ‘The American Gangsta’, borderline unwatchable. The last few shows have proven like Cronkite before him, Chael Sonnen is the identity of ‘The UFC on FOX’ programming. Without him, there really isnt much too watch. Its time to stop fixing mistakes with other mistakes. Please, put Chael back on TV.

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

The UFC once again is blazing a new trail for MMA. This time along with media giant FOX, the power couple launched a very MMA-centric channel called Fox Sports 1. The channels debut featured one of the UFC’s best cards of the year, headlined by Chael P. Sonnen vs. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. The packed TD Arena in Boston was shaking with the arrival of fan favorites Joe Lauzon and John Howard, how ever the biggest ‘pop’ of the night came when Conor McGregor made his entrance. The Irish featherweight displayed an extremely versatile striking attack early in the fight, however he injured his knee in the second round and needed to utilize his wrestling to secure the decision win over a very savvy Max Holloway.

The Co Main event was by far the biggest upset of the evening, as Travis ‘Hapo’ Browne came back from a vicious early body attack to knock out Alistair Overeem in the first round of their fight. Browne, was floored from an early knee to the gut, and withstood a relentless assault from Overeem that prompted the ref to warn Browne on several occasions that a stoppage was near. Browne, withstood the barrage and then channeled his inner Anderson Silva and kicked Overeem in the face. The blow floored Overeem, and a few Browne hammer fists erased all doubt.

For Browne, his name is now solidified on a short list of contenders for the title. Maybe a match up against Fabricio Werdum would solidify a #3 contender. Overeem’s future is much cloudier. After being viciously knocked out in his last two fights it may be time for him to take a long vacation from the sport. He is not the type of fighter to hang around on mid card status, so his time in the UFC may be coming to an end. Even if it is not, his brain has been rattled lately it might be in his best interest to take at least a year off!

Following the Browne upset, two legends took to the cage. Less than ten seconds into the fight, one of those legends had already imposed his will. Chael Sonnen was able to get across the cage, grab a hold of ‘Shogun’ Rua, and slam him to the mat in less than 10 seconds. ‘Shogun’ did his best to resist, stood up a few times, and then surprised everyone by taking Sonnen down! However, he wasnt able to hold him, and Sonnen was able to reverse position.

Sonnen blanketed the former champion, refusing to let him up. Utilizing his position, Sonnen was able to secure a guillotine choke at the end of the first round that forced Rua to tap. To ‘Shogun’s credit, he rolled and resisted as long as he could. Sonnen, as Joe Rogan pointed out several times has a deadly guillotine,

Like Overeem, these fighters are not really in any title pictures anymore. However unlike Overeem, neither one of these guys has ever appeared to be “done” fighting. For Sonnen, there is talk of a match between him and Wanderlei Silva. A fight that really has no implications, but its should be a fun fight to watch. For Rua, the loss extinguishes any hope of returning to title contention. He has been in a lot of wars, and I wouldn’t blame him if he did hang up the gloves, but I don’t think he will. Maybe a fight with Bisping would make sense.

Analysis of Debut on Fox Sports 1.1:

First the name sort of makes the numbering of events, well redundant, and unclear (For example this was titled UFC on Fox Sports 1.1). I don’t see how that wasn’t brought up already! Secondly, FOX needs to brand the UFC separately from the NFL. For example Kill the robot, and please destroy the NFL music. I’d rather hear the signature “Bring the Pain”. Also, keep Curt Menefee of the broadcasts. Watching him learn about the sport on the fly, hurts my feelings.

Other than those obvious ticks, I think the UFC and FOX hit a 3-run Triple with this swing. Overall exceeded expectations in my eyes. It is a very exciting time for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, which had been in a recession of late. Hopefully these free public displays will infuse life back into the sport that will trickle down to the regional levels. This way the sport continues to grow, and more importantly continues to feed itself!