Despite suffering a devastating loss to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at this past weekend’s UFC 159 event, Chael Sonnen (27-13-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC) will continue his fighting career – and he’ll do it at 205 pounds.
Sonnen revealed his plans on Tuesday’s new edition of “UFC Tonight” while simultaneously calling out MMA legend Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC).
“I will definitely continue – and at 205 pounds, unless they come up with a catchweight,” Sonnen said. “They have a couple of people that do that. I know Rich Franklin has fought at catchweights a bunch, but I’m not going to be in contendership anytime soon, and neither is Rich Franklin or a pool of other guys. So there is a little bit of room where we could meet in the middle.
“Now that I’ve dropped Rich’s name, this wasn’t my way of challenging Rich. I was speaking to the point of the catchweight situation. I’m going to stick around.”
Sonnen said his decision to stay at light heavyweight was based on a lack of appropriate opponents at 185 pounds, as well as the benefit of not needing to cut weight to compete at 205 pounds.
“I’d rather give up the size but have a smile on my face.”
Sonnen said he wouldn’t completely rule out the idea of a return to middleweight if there’s a fight that makes sense in the class, for instance if Chris Weidman is able to unseat middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva at this summer’s UFC 162 event.
But for now, Sonnen’s immediate plans are to compete at light heavyweight. And if he could hand-pick his opponent, it would be against Wanderlei Silva, a man he’s openly bickered with in the past.
He’s called me out before, and I’ve called him out, but the fight never really made sense,” Sonnen said. “I was a contender, and he was just a guy on the card. Now I think the fight does make it a little more sense.
“I’m not leaving this sport. Whenever I get asked about retirement, I never say it, but I always think it: I’m not going anywhere until me and Wanderlei straighten this thing out once and for all.”
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(Pictured: Chael Sonnen)