The UFC has re-signed Chael Sonnen to a five fight deal that has the 2 weight title contender contemplating a return to the Middleweight class. For now, Sonnen heads into a Light Heavyweight bout against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua on August 17th at the UFC ‘Fight Night 26′ card scheduled for Boston. Right now at the sport books, Sonnen is favored in the fight at about (-145) with the comeback on Rua at (+125). Despite his popularity, should Sonnen sustain a loss it will be an 0-3 streak that has him not winning a match in over a year and a half.
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Sonnen could very well lose the fight with Rua, as over 5 rounds Sonnen has proven to gas out, and though ‘Shogun’ gets tired also, he remains dangerous deep into fights, while Sonnen just seems to lose his starch. Additionally, the opening exchanges of the fight when both men are fresh are probably when Rua is most dangerous, as his striking has consistently taken people out.
Win or lose, Sonnen will be training with Mark Munoz at the Reign MMA camp in California, so nix that as a bout despite the fact that it was previously signed. Sonnen is also friends with top gun Yushin Okami and he has beaten Bisping. A rematch with Damian Maia or a bout with Hector Lombard might have been interesting, but both of those men heaed to welterweight.
Listening to Sonnen can get long winded at times, but there are several points on which he is consistent and he has repeated himself driving the message home. One of those themes is ‘if your not fighting to be the best, you shouldn’t be in this sport’.
Sonnen is returning to the Middleweight division for basically two matches. A third bout with Anderson Silva, and a bout with Champion Chris Weidman.
Interestingly, should Silva lose to Weidman in the rematch, and Sonnen lose to RUa, the third bout between the two men could actually take place in support of a championship main event! The times they are a changin’!
If Sonnen passes a few tests, he will want Weidman, as the bottom line with Sonnen is that he will not turn down a payday. The big question is, will Sonnen earn the shot in the cage, or will he just talk his way into it?