In an interview with Spike TV’s “MMA Uncensored Live,” Chael Sonnen re-ignited his feud with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The “Gangster” from West Linn, also shared his thoughts on the Anderson Silva loss. In addition, Sonnen discussed a potential move to the light heavyweight division, as well as the small matter of who will be the next most likely contender to “The Spider’s” crown.
The war of words between Sonnen and Rampage began when the latter took a swipe at the former No. 1 middleweight contender following his failed attempt at usurping Silva’s title back at UFC 148.
With some choice words, Rampage told “Uncle Chael” he sucked.
If stupidity was a disease that was treatable by medicine, ‘Rampage' would be the first one in line at the pharmacy, every morning. If ‘Rampage' wants to fight with me, let's fight! But, the reality is, he's on a two-fight losing streak, he can't make weight, nobody cares about him, he doesn't keep his word, and he's out of the company in a matter of months. If he wants to fight, I accept. (via MMAMania.com).
While Rampage has made it more than crystal clear to the UFC hierarchy that his next outing against Glover Teixeira will be his last, a Sonnen matchup isn’t out of the question, given the Oregonian might be moving up to 205 pounds.
Sonnen’s second tilt at UFC glory came to a cataclysmic—and some would say controversial—end, when Silva put an abrupt halt to his title aspirations via second-round TKO. For Sonnen, it was an opportunity missed and the anguish of that night still rankles.
Here Sonnen gives his own analytical view of the fight:
You know, I haven't re-watched the fight, and I probably won't. I've got a vision of what happened, in my head. It hurts. The real problem came when I fell down. I paused. I paused, and I waited for him, and you can't do that. I can live with a loss, but I just wish I wouldn't have paused. He did some different things that made it hard. He went backwards a lot, and it's very difficult to fight someone when they're not coming forward and fighting with you. In practice, guys don't usually run away. They come in, and they engage. So, it made it a little bit harder, but I certainly was ready for that. We had envisioned that as being within his skill set.
Nevertheless, the former NCAA Division I standout refutes claims that he choked on the both occasions he contested for the championship. He also recounted the now infamous knee to the chest scenario that ultimately lead to his demise:
No, I don't want out of it, right now. I wish I was in that moment, right now. The only thing I would do differently is I would have got him. I would have had to take some punches. That was risk. That's why I waited for him, but that didn't work out. I wish I would have gone with the other option, which was to get up and start fighting.
It felt like a really long time. That surprises me that it was only a second. I remember sitting there, looking at him. I was watching his hands. All he's allowed to do is punch in that position. He came with a knee. It caught me off guard, and it kinda ruined the night for me.
Since that fateful night, his career path has been something of a quandary not only to himself, but the public in general. Still, one thing’s for sure, if the opportunity for another title shot (185-205 pounds) doesn’t arise, Sonnen has intimated he might have to hang ‘em up.
I'm not after the second one. I love Rich Franklin. I think he's done an awesome job. That's not for me. I'm in it purely for the championship, and if I don't have a clear road to the title, I'm gonna move on.
That said, a prospective move up to light heavyweight has been on his mind; a new start and whatnot.
And with that in mind, a several possible candidates have been thrown into the hat—Lyoto Machida, Phil Davis and Alexander Gustafsson.
However, to the best of his knowledge, none of the aforementioned combatants have been touted as future opponents in said weight class.
Probably none of the above. I've had a couple of names thrown my way. It was none of those three, but those guys are all studs that would put you in a line for a championship match. I've never had a fight in the UFC that wasn't against a top ten guy.
Furthermore, a move rests solely on the collective consent of his team.
I really don't know. That's the biggest choice I'm trying to make now: Which has a likely path to the championship? Ultimately, I'll have to sit down with my coaches. Mike Dolce will weigh in on that. It's his job to get me to weight. I'll kinda do as I'm told, more than what I think is right.
Other underlying issues that could determine where Sonnen goes from here rest on Silva’s future plans in MMA; will he stay or retire?
Dan Henderson is another factor in his decision making. If Henderson, who is slated to lock horns with 205-pound kingpin Jon “Bones” Jones, succeeds in capturing the title, it more or less leaves Sonnen in a catch-22 situation, as he’s loath to fight his trainer and mentor.
The landscape changes constantly. There's so many moving parts. Is Anderson ever gonna fight again? Who's he gonna fight? What's he gonna do? So, there's a lot of things that that I need to look at. Also, at 205, if Dan Henderson beats Jon Jones, as I hope that he does, then I'm not gonna go there. I'm not ever gonna compete against Dan. He's a coach and a mentor of mine. So, I don't really know what I'm gonna do.
Finally, apropos the middleweight picture and who is most worthy of vying for Silva’s title, Sonnen believes Michael “The Count” Bisping has the best chance, even though he thinks Chris Weidman will offer the sterner challenge.
Deserve is the key word there. Nobody deserves a shot. There's a lot that goes into that: The bureaucracy and politics and, basically, who can sell the most tickets often elevates you to the top in this sport. That's where Michael Bisping comes in. Who's the best fighter? Chris Weidman. The question is: The fighter that beat up Mark Munoz, can he duplicate that, or did he just have a really good night?