After a few days to reflect on his loss to UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, former title-contender Chael Sonnen has come to a conclusion on his future inside the Octagon. More to the point, Sonnen isn’t quite ready to call it quits.
Sonnen confirmed his plans by using his platform on UFC Tonight to both tease a possible return back to the middleweight division and call out rival Wanderlei Silva for an eventual tilt at 205 pounds.
“I’m not retiring. I’m 36 years old. I have a lot of goals and I’m not going to reach them if I retire,” explained Sonnen. “I don’t have a lot of options at 185. I’ve fought everyone in the Top 10, including the champion a couple of times. So I moved up to 205, but I lost to the champ and it wasn’t a competitive enough match to warrant another chance. So what do I do?”
“It was a lot better experience, not having to get the weight off. I’ll give up the size, but have a smile on my face. I could be talked into going back down if that’s where the fights are,” he continued. “The landscape changes quickly. I think there will be a big shakeup on July 4th weekend when Chris Weidman gets his hands on Anderson Silva.”
Weidman is considered by many to be tailor made for a match-up with the middleweight king, Silva. While Sonnen’s desire to dip his toe back in the 185-pound pool appears contingent on Weidman winning, his interest in battling “The Axe Murderer” is much more immediate.
“Wanderlei called me out before, but the fight never made sense. Now it does,” said Sonnen of the Brazilial bomber. “I’m not going anywhere until me and Wanderlei straighten this thing out once and for all. Wanderlei pulled a dirt bag move on me one time. He said something to me that I couldn’t hear, and then put it on YouTube with subtitles because he knew I couldn’t understand it and called me out. If you’re a fighter, that doesn’t fly. You must respond to him, and I’m ready to respond to you Wanderlei.”
Sonnen and Silva have had a few tense verbal exchanges in the past, making for what would almost certainly be an epic build up to the bout. If matched, Sonnen will enter the cage with a 27-13-1 mark including UFC wins over Michael Bisping, Yushin Okami, and Brian Stann, while Silva is 35-12-1 with 25 knockouts to his credit.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY