Chael Sonnen has had two opportunities to seize what he wanted so badly, a win over UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen fell victim to “The Spider” for the second time on Saturday night, getting finished in the second round via TKO. It’s interesting to debate what’s next for the two time title challenger and who he should fight next. Many questions are swirling about what Sonnen wants to do from getting right back in the cage and fighting again to possibly retiring. Here’s what I think he should do.
I think Sonnen should move back up to the UFC light heavyweight division for a few of reasons:
- He’s not going to get another shot at Silva as long as he’s champ
- The UFC runs the risk of him eliminating potential title challengers
- His wrestling ability could serve him well as a light heavyweight
Sonnen spent the majority of his early MMA career as a light heavyweight. In fact, he made his UFC debut as a light heavyweight against Renato “Babalu” Sobral at UFC 55 losing via triangle choke. However, he went back to the middleweight division after the loss and has been there ever since. He record as a light heavyweight stands at (14-7-1) and his record as a middleweight is (13-5).
There are a lot of intriguing matchups for Sonnen in the UFC light heavyweight division as his elite wrestling ability could put him in the mix. In fact, he has already fought former champion Forrest Griffin all the way back in 2003 and lost via submission. Griffin just fought on the same card at UFC 148 and would be a good first fight as a light heavyweight for Sonnen. He could make the transition while trying to avenge a previous loss against an opponent with good name recognition.
There are also fights against Brazilians Shogun Rua and Lyoto Machida who have already traded verbal jabs with Sonnen in the past year or so. He already has the attention of most Brazilian MMA fans for the verbal jabs he threw towards them as well as Anderson Silva over the past two years, and a fight with either of these two fighters would draw attention and be worthy of watching.
It’s either make the move to light heavyweight, stay at middleweight in the shadow on Silva, or retire from the sport. Which option would you prefer as a fan?