Chael Sonnen has officially announced that he will be moving up to 205 and will play with the big boys at light heavyweight. Sonnen will make his debut against a former UFC light heavyweight champion to help the UFC close out the year on December 29 at UFC 155.
Believe it or not, this is not the first time Sonnen and Griffin have fought in MMA. The two UFC fighters fought before joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship on a smaller regional show several years ago. Griffin defeated by Sonnen via submission in the first-round in that fight over eight years ago. Sonnen is looking for revenge.
Sonnen made the announcement on the UFC Tonight broadcast.
“I could go up to 205 and I could take Jon Jones’ belt the same as I could take his candy on Halloween – a little punk kid, I’d snatch it away all I want,” Sonnen said. “But there’s something to be said in sportsmanship for earning your shot. And on the 29th of December, I’m going to go through Forrest to do it.”
I have to admit that this one took me by surprise. It wasn’t all too long ago in which Dana White was publicly questioning Grifffin’s desire to even continue fighting and suggested that the former champion should consider retirement. There was a story this week about Wanderlei Silva’s next fight and I was almost certain that Chael was going to be his opponent. This one surprised me.
Chael certainly brings fresh life to the UFC light heavyweight division. The UFC champion Jon Jones has blown through the division’s top contenders so fast that we are already going on repeats with Lyoto Machida getting the next shot at the Jones vs. Dan Henderson winner. I have to believe that the UFC are foaming at the mouth at the possibilities of promoting a Sonnen vs. Jones championship fight. I would not be shocked to see Sonnen get the shot after Machida if he wins in convincing fashion.
With Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight title on top and Sonnen vs. Griffin in support, UFC 155 is already shaping up to be one of the biggest shows of 2012.