Friday, December 2, 2011

Not Anderson, So Who is Next for Chael Sonnen?


source: Ken Pishna | mmaweekly.com

First it was Anderson Silva, then Mark Munoz; so who is next for Chael Sonnen?

He believes that Saturday night’s main event at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale will determine his next opponent.

“I’m not fighting Anderson. I’m not against competing with Mark, but I don’t believe that will happen,” Sonnen told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday night. “I believe what will happen for me will be based on what happens Saturday night.”

Asked point blank if that meant he felt he would be fighting Michael Bisping or Jason “Mayhem” Miller next, he answered, “That’s my belief.”

Of course, Sonnen was originally expected to step into a rematch with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva next, but Silva is sidelined for the next few months due to a shoulder injury.

Speculation then shifted to a possible match-up with Mark Munoz, with whom Sonnen shares the same management company, MMA Inc.


Even TUF 14 headliner Michael Bisping believed that was the fight, telling MMAWeekly.com Radio recently, “I thought a logical match-up [if he gets past Miller] would have been me and Mark Munoz, but obviously that’s not going to happen now. It’s going to be Chael Sonnen and Mark, and the winner of that is going to face Anderson Silva.”

Sonnen obviously feels differently, telling MMAWeekly.com that there was never a deal in place for him to fight Munoz, although he and Munoz realize that, being in the same division, the fight could be made at some point.

“I don’t have a next fight,” Sonnen said, before leaving himself an out due to the fickle nature of matchmaking in this sport – just ask Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz, B.J. Penn, and Carlos Condit.

Sources had indicated to MMAWeekly.com that Sonnen and Munoz was being considered for UFC on Fox 2 in January.

“(Mark and I) have no deal to fight each other, but this sport can change in an instant. What I don’t want to happen is for this to change five minutes from now and you think I fibbed to you.”

So if he believes that he might face Saturday night’s winner between Bisping and Miller, who does Sonnen think that will be?

“I think it’s a pretty good fight. Bisping’s the favorite, two-to-one, but it’s a lot closer than two-to-one. I think he should be the favorite. I’d give him the edge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mayhem won. It’s gonna be a close match.”