Sonnen is headed back to the light heavyweight division to face
a familiar foe.
The former two-time UFC middleweight title contender announced on
Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” that he will return to
competition on Dec. 29 at
UFC 155 against former 205-pound titlist Forrest
Griffin. The pair first met in September 2003, with Griffin
earning a first-round submission victory via triangle choke.
“Many years ago, I fought with a gentleman, and I lost. I became a
fan of him; I saw him win a championship. I saw him etch his name
in stone as a hall of famer,” said Sonnen. “He is the one guy
Jones hasn’t beaten, and on Dec. 29, Forrest Griffin and I will
figure this out. That fight will be at light heavyweight. There is
something to be said about earning your spot in the sport, and on
Dec. 29, I am going to do that.”
Sonnen, 35, has won five of his last seven bouts. Following an
ill-fated three-fight stint with the UFC from 2005 to 2006, the
Oregonian returned to the Octagon in 2009, earning wins over
Miller, Yushin Okami
Marquardt to earn a shot at middleweight champion Anderson
Silva. After submitting to a Silva triangle choke in 2010,
Sonnen posted two more wins to earn another crack at “The Spider.”
Unfortunately for the Team Quest rep, he would once again fall to
Silva, losing via technical knockout at UFC 148 last month.
Griffin, 33, also last competed at UFC 148, sending former light
heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz into
retirement via unanimous decision at the July 7 event. The victory
marked both Griffin’s third win in four fights and his second
victory out of three meetings with Ortiz. The original “Ultimate
Fighter” winner, Griffin is a 15-time UFC veteran and has earned 10
of his 19 career wins by either knockout or submission.