After months of non-stop babbling about Brazilian MMA fighters, Chael Sonnen will finally get a high profile fight against one of Brazil’s finest. Numerous stories report that verbal agreements are in place for a Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen UFC fight this fall.
Dave Meltzer talked about it on his Monday night podcast and intimated that the fight was a done deal for the fall. Fighters Only Magazine has also reported on the fight, publishing a story today saying that verbal agreements are already in place for the fight.
“Sources close to the situation tell Fighters Only that Sonnen will be making his UFC return at light-heavyweight and is almost certain to face the Brazilian former champion.”
There is certainly the part of me that would love to see Lyoto Machida make a fool out of Sonnen, although Sonnen doesn’t need any help with that. I think Machida has superior skills to Sonnen’s and will likely outweigh him by 10-20 pounds by fight time. It is bound to be a one-sided massacre and at the end of the day it won’t matter because Chael got what he wanted which is a high profile fight and a big payday.
The UFC will also be doing something here that Dana White said wouldn’t happen. This fight is being targeted for Texas at UFC 136. Texas for those of you don’t know is a joke when it comes to its state athletic commission.
“We don’t do that,” White said of the possibility of commission shopping. “He’s going to have to pay his dues and straighten his stuff out with (the CSAC), even though I think what’s happened to him is wrong.”
“We will honor it. We won’t let him fight anywhere,” White said. “We’ll honor that suspension until it’s cleared up. (The CSAC would) regulate me – they’re my boss too. You show me a guy who fought the government and won. Show me that guy. I want to meet him. I don’t want to be the guy to try. I do what I’m told.”
Booking Chael in Texas without Sonnen getting re-licensed in California and Nevada is tantamount to commission shopping if you ask me.
Of course none of this matters to Machida who is ready to fight Sonnen tomorrow.
“I think that’s great, I’m excited to do that. He’s coming back now, wants to fight, and I really think it’s a good fight for me. If Sonnen really wants this fight, I’ll sign it immediately, no problem at all.”
The fight would be contested at light heavyweight as mentioned above. Hey, at least this way Chael won’t have to take anything artificial to bulk up for his opponent.
One complaint Meltzer had on his podcast was that it takes Sonnen out of the mix for a rematch with Anderson Silva. I disagree. Silva fights at both light heavyweight and middleweight. If Sonnen sticks around in the light heavyweight division, the UFC would actually have an easier time justifying a rematch in that division as a straight grudge fight rather than giving Sonnen an undeserved title shot. Additionally, the new five-round UFC main event rule would also rematch them at light heavyweight with the five rounds if that is the road the UFC wishes to travel for a Sonnen vs. Silva rematch.
And with Japan, England, and other international territories on tap for 2012, booking Chael for the fight won’t be a problem.
Update: MMAJunkie.com reported today that the UFC have changed their minds and will not pit Sonnen against Machida. Sonnen is instead rumored to be fighting Brian Stann. Can’t wait to hear those promos from Sonnen.
Oh and yes, the UFC are still planning on booking Sonnen on the UFC 136 event in Houston.
Shop Now at the Official UFC Store