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Options Abound For Chael Sonnen Following Win Over Shogun Rua

Options Abound For Chael Sonnen Following Win Over Shogun Rua

Chael Sonnen left Boston with his first UFC victory in more than a year. He also managed to line up a handful of potential fights. For Sonnen, and for the UFC, his submission victory over former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was a huge success that ensured Sonnen will remain a viable part of the promotion for the foreseeable future.

Following his victory over Rua, Sonnen stood in the middle of the Octagon and made it clear that he wanted Wanderlei Silva to be his next opponent. Speaking to Joe Rogan, Sonnen said, “Wanderlei Silva, 6-foot tall and 205-pounds. Boy, until I met you, I didn’t know they could stack crap that high. I just got done with a world champion. If you don’t think I’ll add a middle-aged comedian just for the goddamn pleasure of it, you better think again. Wanderlei Silva, in three months, you and the bad guy.”

While Sonnen wanted Silva, other fighters were racing to twitter to let UFC president Dana White know that they wanted to put their names on the list of potential opponents for Sonnen.

First was Vitor Belfort:

Following Belfort was Lyoto Machida:

Phil Davis then threw his hat in the ring:

Sonnen, appearing on Fox Sports 1 after his victory replied to Belfort, “If Vitor said my name first, I’m in. That’s all you have to do is say my name. You do not have to ask me twice.”

It’s funny what one win can do for a fighter’s future.

Prior to his victory over Rua, many fans were ready to write Sonnen off. The claim was that he was just some dude with the ability to talk himself into big fights, but once in those big fights he was nothing special.

It’s true that Sonnen has landed fights against UFC champions that may not have been deserved, in the strictest sense of the word, and that he has lost those fights. However, it’s also true that over the course of his last nine UFC fights, those title fights against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and middleweight champion Anderson Silva are the only fights that Sonnen has lost.

Sonnen’s six wins over that span seem to get forgotten, at least by his detractors. Well, at least until now, now Sonnen seems to have everyone’s attention.  That’s good for Sonnen’s bank account, and that’s good for the UFC’s bottom line, that is if Sonnen sells his next fight.

If I were to put money down, I would say that the UFC is going to match up Sonnen against Silva or Belfort. Why?  Those are two fights that Sonnen will turn on his “charms” to help promote; you can almost guarantee that he would promote the hell out of either of those fights.  That’s something Sonnen didn’t really do heading into his bout against Rua.

There are a lot of options out there for Sonnen. For those that hoped he was going to go gently into the good night, sorry to say that it looks like Chael Sonnen will be sticking around the UFC quite a bit longer, and that he will be doing so near the top of whatever fight card he is booked.