Chael Sonnen contemplates a weight class jump, potential battle with JonesPosted on July 13, 2012, 12:25 PM by Mike Searson
In the following interview, Chael Sonnen talks to Ariel Helwani about his loss to UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, the rumors of appealing the outcome and Sonnen's future in the sport, whether that means retirement or facing maybe another Champion in a different division.
Their headline bout at UFC 148 was somewhat controversial as many spectators watched as Silva threw a knee to what looked like Sonnen's face without a referee stoppage: "First of all I would never appeal a loss, the ref's decision is final. Secondly the knee was not illegal that was superceded by the referee's call. I don't want anyone to shed a tear for me. The knee got me in the face and when he hit me with it, I thought the ref was going to call it, but he didn't. I remember pausing, but the knee landed where it landed, I am not disputing the results."
Talk out of Sonnen's camp was of an appeal based on some of Silva's actions like grabbing Sonnen's shorts or as NSAC's Keith Kizer pointed out, Silva blatantly using vaseline from his face to grease his torso before the bout. Sonnen is not giving it a second thought: "None of those things affected the fight, you follow those rules every single day. We You cant expect people to rejoice in victory if you don't know how to lose."
Although Sonnen is unlikely to get a third shot at Silva anytime soon, he admits to liking the thought: "If I had the chance to fight him again, I would definitely take it. I am appreciative of him and of the chance he gave me to fight him again and the first time. I was very good for Anderson, but Anderson was very good for me too."
As for rumors about a possible retirement after his recent loss, Sonnen completely laid those to rest: "I love this sport and never want to retire. If that comes it will be because of practice not the outcome of an athletic performance. I'm a competitor. I never got in it for the money or the fame. Back when I started, nobody was coming out to watch us fight and it wasn't on television. There was no money. I can't retire until I win a championship, that is not retirement, that's quitting."
So where does Chael Sonnen go next, if he is not going to work his way back through the Middleweight ranks? Taking a cue from his mentors like Dan Henderson and Randy Couture, Sonnen is considering a move to the Light Heavyweight division for what he calls a "fresh start" and possibly facing Jon Jones: "Getting motivated and being mentally tough is hard. But I'm very disciplined. I will do every thing I can for victory. I don't want to say anything right now until I take some time, maybe a few weeks. My mentors have done it, and it could happen. I would go up to 205. I'm not trying to make any claim or put myself in any corner. There's some great guys at 185 and that's not what it's about. Traditionally and historically, it is a good way to get a fresh start and start over."