There was a great deal of intrigue this week after Jones Vs Sonnen was announced for the next series of TUF. Chael is a great guy and arguably the most charismatic fighter in the UFC. There’s no doubt that this one has ruffled some feathers. Not just for the guys that are probably more deserving of a title shot but the fans are also divided.

Is it the right choice? I’m not sure, but it’s got potential to be the best TUF season yet. Who knows what will happen between those two. Jones portrays such a calm zen like exterior but if anyone can break that, it’s Chael, and he’ll have six weeks to do it.

While we’re on the subject of matchmaking, I’ve had a chance to gather my thoughts after Nottingham and come back down to earth. It was a great night and gave me some confidence that my hands can do real damage. Something I always knew but the proof is in the pudding as they say.

There’s been some clarity for my weight class lately as Renan Barao has announced he will wait for Dominick Cruz and won’t be defending his interim title.

It seems to be that Cruz may be coming back from the injury earlier than expected. Perhaps his camp know something the rest of us don’t. Cruz is an extremely competitive guy and was in excellent shape before the injury so chances are he’ll be back sooner than expected. No doubt it’ll be up to the UFC to decide but if Cruz is almost ready than Barao should be allowed to wait.

If Cruz and Barao are going to be slugging it out next year then I want to be next in line and for me that means a showdown with Michael McDonald. I’ve told the UFC I’m ready to fight again before the end of the year and McDonald is in my sights.

We’re both closing in at the top of the division and it would result in a fresh contender to face the winner of Renan Barao and Dominick Cruz. It’s a fight I want and a fight I feel I’ve earned. I’m not someone to go around calling guys out and have the greatest respect for Michael McDonald, but this makes sense and hopefully the UFC will agree.

The UK needs a UFC belt, it’s a fighting nation and I think the sport’s popularity could hugely benefit from a UK belt holder. I’m not saying I’m the best hope as there are plenty of talented Brits, Michael Bisping is pushing his claim but Anderson Silva stands in the way. A mammoth task! I was confounded by his performance in Rio. Standing there and taking shots on the chin while his belt is on the line? The man is human all said and done, but he does a good job of appearing invincible.

I was really proud of all my guys fighting on the TUF smashes series in Australia. Michael was really unlucky to get injured and Luke perhaps came out too hard with Bola giving a great account of himself. I’m proud of them all and hopefully this can be a great learning curve that fuels their hunger for a UFC career.

If you like following this blog and have some questions of your own, then I’ll be doing a Q+A with my sponsors Monkey Nutrition next Wednesday. You can find more details on their Facebook page.

Hopefully I’ll speak to some of you then!

One Punch