Well if you were wondering what’s next for Chael Sonnen, here is your answer. After losing his last two title fights to the #1 and #2 best fighters on the planet, it didn’t seem like there was much left for Sonnen to do, especially given the fact that he’s previously claimed on multiple occasions “if there wasn’t a clear path to a title then there really is no point for me to continue in this sport”.
Apparently Sonnen isn’t ready to walk away from the sport just quite yet. Making an appearance on UFC Tonight on Fuel TV, Sonnen had the following to say regarding his future in the UFC:
“I will definitely continue, and at 205 pounds unless they come up with a catchweight. They have a couple of guys who do that, I know has fought at catchweight a bunch, but it’s very rare that you do that. But, I’m not going to be in contendership anytime soon, and neither will Rich Franklin and a pool of other guys, so there is a little room where we can meet. And now that I’ve dropped Rich’s name this wasn’t my way of challenging him — I was speaking about the catchweight situation. I’m going to stick around…. I have a lot of goals I want to achieve still and retirement won’t help me get that done.”
Furthermore, Sonnen went on to get a little more specific with his plans for the future. Always seeming to have some sort of plan, he brought up and made reference to the past tension between himself and Wanderlei Silva when they had a conversation in a car regarding the comments Chael had made about Brazilians in which Wanderlei told him:
“In Brazil we have a saying: You have respect, you don’t lose your teeth. Give respect!”
What looked like Sonnen being understanding and almost remorseful by conceding without a response, was apparently not the case at all according to Sonnen:
“Wanderlei pulled a real dirt bag move on me one time. We’re in a van together, he mutters something at me, but I can’t understand what he’s saying for the life of me. Truly, I couldn’t understand him. He then puts this video on the Internet, with subtitles, because he knows I can’t understand him — I don’t even know if that’s really what he said or not — and it looks as though I’m conceding to him.”
Knowing Chael he’s more than likely just angling his next big hype train in the proper direction and getting the wheels moving for the next phase of his career. After losing to Jones this past weekend, Jones has been nothing but gracious in defeat admitting that he was completey surprised by the power and size of the reigning light-heavyweight champion:
“As far as the match goes, I got beat up, that’s just how it went. And we kind of knew that going in, Jon was a really good fighter, in fact, Jon is a better fighter. But, is he tougher? When the going gets rough can he hang in there and keep going, but the fight got stopped in the first round, so I never got to get him to a point where he’d be uncomfortable and I could have some advantage on him.
“This was like getting into a bear cage. This guy was a monster of a man. We weighed the same amount the day before, but I don’t know how that was possible. I put my arms around him and I was literally thinking in the middle of a fist fight, ‘Oh my God, you’re a big guy.”
Chael even touched on the semi-controversial stoppage which a few fans and fellow fighters were rather vocal about:
“Look, it’s twofold. Anytime a referee gets in there and he helps you, stopping a fight because he thinks you are hurt, you never want to — especially come out on a show like this — and disparage his judgement,” Sonnen explained. “At the same time, we’re in the middle of an ass-whipping contest — let us get after it! When I have my hands up because the guy is punching me, that’s called defense. That’s what protecting yourself is — you put your hands up when you’re being hit in the head. There is a tiny but of confusion, or frustration, on my part when it comes to defending myself when punches are coming down. But, again, I never want to question a referee.”
At the end of the day, Sonnen went right back to what he does best, he set his sights on the next target, lined up the scope and pulled the trigger:
“I’m not going anywhere until me and Wanderlei Silva straighten this thing out once and for all,” Sonnen said. “If you’re a fighter, [what Silva did in the van] doesn’t fly, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a van or not. You must respond, and I’m ready to respond to him.”
For those of you who are fans of Chael Sonnen, consider this good news. The man has found a way to remotivate himself and continue his career hopefully providing us with more entertaining fights and classic unforgettable soundbites.