UFC veteran Chael Sonnen will get the next shot at current middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva. UFC president Dana White made the announcement on Nov. 9, while doing an interview with Jim Rome.
“It’s the fight that everybody wants to see,” White said. “People want to see Chael vs. Anderson. Anderson is in this position where he feels like this guy is so disrespectful he doesn’t want to give him a shot, but Anderson will end up fighting Chael Sonnen. The answer is yes [Chael Sonnen is next].”
White didn’t say if the two would fight on Super Bowl weekend, but it’s unlikely the UFC will pass up the opportunity to have Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz, and Sonnen vs. Silva on the same fight card. An MMA card that stacked would certainly sell out any Arena in the country, and bring in a lot of PPV buys.
Some MMA purists won’t be happy with the UFC’s decision, given all the information that has come out since Sonnen lost to Silva at UFC 117. It’s definitely not normal for the UFC to give a guy that tested positive for PED’s a title shot one fight back with the promotion. It would have been one thing if Sonnen defeated Silva and later had the decision reversed because of his failed drug test, but the Portland native wasn’t even able to pull out the win.
Still, I can’t fault White for giving Sonnen a crack at “The Spider.” For one, there are not that many fighters in the middleweight division that can legitimately bring it to Silva. Even though Sonnen was aided by PED’s in the UFC 117 encounter between the two, there is no question his style matches up with the champion’s. When you factor in how marketable Sonnen is, it’s really a no-brainer for the UFC.
I’m not sure Sonnen will be able to duplicate the incredible pace he had against Silva at UFC 117, but there is no question he’ll bring it to “The Spider.” The results will probably be the same, but I’m sure it’ll be just as entertaining as the first fight.