Top Ultimate Fighter Coach Jon Jones
It seems like forever ago, but TUF 17 was the first step on the PR comeback trail for Jon Jones following UFC 151′s cancellation.
For those who don’t remember, Jones turned down a fight with Chael Sonnen that could have salvaged the event and was criticized heavily for it by UFC president Dana White. To move past some of that bad publicity, he took a coaching spot opposite Sonnen on The Ultimate Fighter and wanted to come off as a down-to-earth, average guy.
He succeeded in that, but as a result, he ended up as a very average coach.
In fairness, he was unable to bring along many Jackson’s MMA coaches or fighters due to the team’s busy 2012. While Georges St-Pierre was able to bring along Greg Jackson as well as Freddie Roach and Firas Zahabi, Jones had to settle on a good-but-not-legendary coaching staff made up of Frank Mir, Ricky Lundell, Bubba Jenkins and Syndicate MMA head coach John Woods.
His team performed reasonably well, going 4-3 in the first round, taking the wild card and moving two fighters to the semifinals. Unfortunately for Jones, it would be an all-Sonnen final with Uriah Hall facing off with Kelvin Gastelum.
While TUF 17 was a memorable season, it was not boosted in a serious way by Jones’ presence. This relegates him to the middle of the pack despite his downright scary in-cage success.