Despite all the talk about this season of The Ultimate Fighter being revamped and overhauled, there haven’t been a lot of changes or unexpected twists. Aside from the excellent premiere episode, it’s essentially the same show it’s always been but with a bigger production budget. That being said, there has been one welcome surprise: the behavior of Chael Sonnen.
While many expected him to play the likeable asshole to Jon Jones’ detestable asshole, instead what we’ve been presented with is an honest, caring coach who has acted as an excellent mentor to his team. He has spoken openly about his own fears and failures, dispensed thought-provoking advice and behaved like a genuine gentleman to everybody including his opponent, Jon Jones.
What happened to the cancer survivor-shaming, racist, xenophobic, sexist liar we’ve all grown to love/hate? If you hadn’t figured it out already, it really was just an act. Or maybe this new thing is an act. Either way, congratulations to Chael on pulling one of the best heel to babyface transitions this side of the WWE.