chael-sonnen-45.jpg(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

These days, Chael Sonnen has UFC middleweights and light heavyweights alike lining up for the chance to fight him. That’s not normally a good sign in MMA.

In most cases, unless you have the championship belt around your waist and the bull’s-eye on your back that comes with it, an overabundance of challengers means you’ve been singled out as an easy mark. It’s just a matter of who’s going to get to you first and scoop up a nice paycheck for his trouble.

But with a first-round submission victory against former UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-8 MMA, 5-6 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 26 in Boston over the weekend, Sonnen (28-13-1 MMA, 7-6 UFC) proved he’s anything but an easy out. What he is, thanks in part to his way with words and nose for the spotlight, is a walking lottery ticket for UFC fighters in need of a little hype.

Right now, it’s a Brazilian contingent that’s most eager to cash in.

Sonnen left little doubt as to whom he’d like to face next, dedicating almost his entire postfight interview to calling out former PRIDE Fighting Championships champion Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC).

Silva wasn’t on hand to accept the offer right away, but fellow Brazilian fighters Lyoto Machida (19-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) and Vitor Belfort (23-10 MMA, 12-6 UFC) were quick to jump on Twitter and offer their services as a replacement.

“I would beat up Vitor on the way to the ring to kick Wanderlei’s (butt), and I’ll take care of the third guy (Machida), whose name I’ve already forgotten, (in) the parking lot on the way to my after-party,” Sonnen said at the postfight news conference, employing all the pro wrestling-style panache fans and media have come to expect.

To many, Sonnen’s schtick is just good comedy. But ever since his rivalry with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva took a nationalistic turn, the Brazilian fighters aren’t laughing.

A victory against Sonnen now might make them heroes back home, and Sonnen’s star status in the UFC all but guarantees the bout will be a big-money, main-event affair.

That’s the upside. The downside, as Rua found out, is Sonnen’s no slouch in the cage. He has demonstrated a willingness to bounce between the 185- and 205-pound divisions without losing much in speed or strength, and his wrestling-heavy attack has the potential to be a problem for most anybody.

For now, Sonnen says he’s waiting for an answer to his initial offer before considering alternatives.

“Wanderlei Silva tells the media he wants to fight me,” Sonnen said. “I would love to fight Wanderlei. (He) insists that fight has never been offered. That’s been a big marquee fight for years. To believe he hasn’t been offered that fight is ridiculous. All I need for him is to say he doesn’t want to do it, then I’m out. … But if he continues to say it, he’s going to continue to get me to respond.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 26, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Unbeaten Prospect Phil Hawes Makes Quick Turnaround, Faces Louis Taylor at WSOF 32

  • 27 days ago
  • 40 views

World Series of Fighting announced today that undefeated prospect Phil Hawes will make a quick turnaround and step back in the decagon cage just six weeks after his promotional debut. read news >>

UFC 200 Free Fight: Jon Jones Makes Quick Work of Chael Sonnen

  • 25 days ago
  • 22 views

Jon Jones defended his light heavyweight belt for the fifth time when he defeated Chael Sonnen at UFC 159. Check out that fight. read news >>

UFC Statement on Daniel Omielanczuk

  • 26 days ago
  • 8 views

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency informed Daniel Omielanczuk of a potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation involving Meldonium, a prohibited substance on the Wor read news >>

UFC Statement on Islam Makhachev

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has lifted Islam Makhachev’s provisional suspension due to recent WADA statements regarding the handling of Meldonium cases. read news >>

Chael Sonnen Weighs In on BJ Penn’s IV Ban Suspension

  • 24 days ago
  • 32 views

Chael Sonnen weighs in on UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn's recent suspension for violating the IV ban portion of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. read news >>

Chael Sonnen: Mark Hunt Will Beat Brock Lesnar, It’s a Lock!

  • 17 days ago
  • 21 views

Chael Sonnen weighs in on WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar's return to the Octagon at UFC 200. He's facing Top 10 heavyweight Mark Hunt, and Lesnar will lose! read news >>

Chael Sonnen Beyond the Fight: The Jon Jones Situation

  • 14 days ago
  • 183 views

Jon Jones is in a very similar situation that Chael Sonnen was a few years ago. Listen here for Chael's perspective on Jon's failed drug test and press conference. read news >>

Two UFC Veterans Allege Jon Jones Tested Positive for Estrogen Blockers

  • 14 days ago
  • 237 views

Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen allege that Jon Jones tested positive for estrogen blockers in the drug test that led to him being pulled from UFC 200. read news >>

Bad Blood Boils Over Between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen

  • 11 days ago
  • 4123 views

Chael Sonnen's recent comments on Jon Jones being yanked from UFC 200 has stirred a hornet's nest, and now there's some choice words between the two camps. read news >>

UFC Icon Chael Sonnen Looks to Reinvent Grappling with Submission Underground

  • 10 days ago
  • 37 views

Chael Sonnen reinvented the mixed martial arts game, at least from a promotional point of view, during his decade-plus career as a perennial UFC contender. Known for his motor mouth, even more so tha read news >>