It appears that Chael Sonnen will not be retiring after the Shogun fight, rather he will fight on at his former home at 185lbs. regardless of the outcome against Rua. Sonnen revealed the news on Fuel TV’s ‘UFC Tonight’, confirming that he had indeed signed a five-fight extension with the UFC.
Earlier this month Sonnen had appeared at a fan expo in the lead up to UFC 162 in Las Vegas, saying:
“My contract with the UFC has expired. So I went to Dana White, and I went to him with a list of my demands because he’s getting my contract together. He thought this was a gag, but I was being serious because it’s not all about money with me.”
Now I’m wondering what Sonnen’s plans will be at 185lbs., because he had two title shots during his first tenure at MW. He beat guys like Michael Bisping, Brian Stann, Nate Marquardt and very nearly beat Anderson Silva. So what’s next for the American Gangster at Middleweight?
“After I get done with Shogun, I’m returning to middleweight. There’s two guys that I want to get matched up with—first is Vitor Belfort because he’s awesome and on an incredible roll, and the second is Wanderlei [Silva], who I’ve now found out is going back to middleweight. The landscape has completely changed. I got a new contract, and I’m returning to the weight class.”
Sonnen also revealed that he has moved training to Reign MMA, where Mark Munoz is running the show. If he is taking his preparation for Rua seriously, this could be quite an interesting match up.
Given his lacklustre performances of late, I had almost written Sonnen off completely. But a change of camps, and obvious aspirations for fights in a better division has me thinking twice. Mark Munoz is a beast and if he trains guys like he fights, Sonnen might be in the best shape we’ve seen him in for years.
UFC on Fox Sports 1: Boston will be a big night for the UFC. Anyone think he has a chance of beating Rua?