|By Raj Giri||September 14, 2012 | Comments|
Number one, Chael is just out of the spotlight. Yes, he lost and all that. But the point is that Chael knows how to promote a fight. ESPN loves Chael and the media loves Chael. Whether they should or not is another issue, but they do. He's a colorful guy and the word would get out. 'Hey, there's UFC this Saturday,' that wasn't going to get out with Dan Henderson.
I mean, he was gift-wrapped. He was gift-wrapped a buyrate. I'm not saying that with a week's build, it would have done giant numbers. It wouldn't have done giant numbers but it would have done bigger numbers than it was going to do. It would have done bigger numbers than with any other person on a week's notice.
The gave him the only guy he could draw on a week's notice with and the guy wasn't in shape! How are you going to lose? Plus, Chael, stylistically, is not a tough match for Jon Jones. Chael was a smaller version of Ryan Bader without the hard right. Look what Jon Jones did to Ryan Bader and Ryan Bader was in shape! And Ryan Bader was bigger and stronger.
Let's just say lightning struck and Chael won: it's not a loss either. 'Oh, my God. He's risking so much.' You're risking a helluva lot more going against Machida. Machida's a hard guy to fight even though he beat him the first time. Machida's difficult. And if Chael wins? Great! You're going to make millions of dollars. You're going to make millions of dollars in the rematch. What punishment!
He's undefeated, anyway. He should be undefeated, but that's another issue. He's not undefeated anyway. What? One loss in MMA is killing your career. We can't afford to lose? It's like, get out of MMA if you can't afford to lose. Everyone's going to lose and one loss won't hurt Jon Jones.
Georges St. Pierre was in this exact situation with Matt Serra. A total undeserving guy who had no prayer of beating him. Guess what? Matt Serra won that fight. Boy, that was the end of Georges St. Pierre, wasn't it? You know what I mean?
Worst case scenario is that Chael Sonnen becomes Matt Serra. Guess what? Georges was a bigger sgar because of Matt Serra. Greatest thing to happen to Georges was going to Montreal as the challenger to Matt Serra. Can you imagine Jon Jones going to Madison Square Garden as the challenger to Chael Sonnen. I mean, he's not going to lose to him twice.
Maybe he does but then Chael deserves to be champion anyway. [Laughs.] The whole this is that the worst case scenario, you make millions of dollars. The best case scenario is that you make a million dollars. You know what I mean?
People go, 'He had so much to lose.' He had nothing to lose except by turning it down. Now, he's got something to lose. He has a Nike sponsorship, Nike's got this guy under contract-- are people going to go buy Jon Jones merchandise? The guy who ducked a fight with a smaller guy on no notice? Maybe they will, maybe Jon Jones will sell merchandise anyway. But, to me, Jon Jones was never a guaranteed merchadise-seller anyway.
It's not like Chuck Liddell or someone like that, where I would go, 'Ahh, Chuck's going to sell merchandise. He's cool.' Nobody thinks Jon Jones is cool. If he sells merchandise, that's good. If he doesn't, what's going to happen? If, because of this, people don't buy Jon Jones merchandise, what's that Nike deal worth?
It's worth nothing other than the fact that Nike's going to go, 'Well, we tried an MMA guy and we sold no merchandise.' That word gets out that MMA guys don't sell merchandise. They may do pay-per-view numbers but people don't buy their merchandise.
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