With a first round submission of Maricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 last night, Chael Sonnen is back. He’s also looking to rejoin the middleweight division in its most exciting and competitive point since Anderson Silva stepped in and took things over, back in 2006.
Sonnen immediately called out Wanderlei Silva after his submission of the night performance and later said that he would be up for fighting Vitor Belfort if he couldn’t land Silva. Ariel Helwani from mmafighting.com asked Sonnen at the post fight presser last night, who he would fight out of Machida who is asking for him, and Belfort or Wanderlei.
“Ariel,” began Sonnen to an immediate wave of laughter, “I would beat up Vitor on the way to the ring to kick Wanderlei’s ass, and I’ll take there the third guy, who’s name I’ve already forgotton, on the way to my after party.”
Dana White crystallized the situation among the middleweights, plus where he thinks Sonnen should be ranked at 185.
“So real quick, Chael Sonnen is ranked by you guys, number 9, Rockhold, Philippou, Munoz, Jacare, Michael Bisping who he beat, and Okami whom he beat, are all ranked above him. Then you got the top three, in Weidman, Silva, and Belfort. Makes sense. How is Chael Sonnen not number three? Ask yourself that question, ladies and gentlemen.”
With all these options for Sonnen at middleweight, Dana was understandably very closed mouthed. This is something he will have to sort out with match maker Joe Silva over the next few weeks before any of us will know how things are gonna go down.
Hell, Silva may shock the world and take back his belt. That would shut down all the momentum of all the contenders who have become very tightly ranked since Chris Weidman dropped him unconscious back at UFC 162.
But give it time. Sonnen talked before the fight with Shogun about how he only becomes more capable against opponents he’s dropped losses too. Sure Ariel Helwani was asking him about what he thought his chances would be against Jones in a rematch, but anyone fan of Sonnen’s would have to wonder what his chances would be against his biggest rival, that being the former pound for pound king, Anderson Silva.
“I’m not chasin the belt. You know sometimes I’m just chasin guys,” said Sonnen at last night’s post-fight presser. “Jon Jones was an example. I just wanted to fight Jon Jones, he just happened to have the title. Anderson doesn’t have the title. The biggest projected UFC of the year December 28th at the MGM Grand, Anderson’s got his hands full. I’m not trying to interject myself in that. But the reality is, that frustrates me and there’s some losses that do, and I’m a stubborn guy. I know he’s got two wins but I think I could get him on a third one, that’s all I was commenting on.”