Chael Sonnen Hopes Vitor Belfort Seizes the Moment vs. Jon Jones at UFC 152

Nick CaronAnalyst IAugust 28, 2012

Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Chael Sonnen reacts after losing to Anderson Silva (not pictured) during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

New UFC light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen hasn't always been the friendliest guy out there when it comes to speaking about his competition. 

His hilarious yet vicious attacks on Anderson Silva are the stuff of legend, but Silva hasn't been the only fighter that the former No. 1 contender has gone after. Recently, it appears that Chael has had a change of heart about at least one of the colleagues he insulted.

"Vitor's an excellent fighter," Sonnen told about the man who ended up getting the next shot at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. "It's world champion after world champion that he fights, and this isn't any different. It's a good chance for Vitor, and I hope he seizes the moment." 

Sonnen once called out Belfort for being physically unable to perform against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147, even calling him a "liar" and a "chicken."

Now it appears that Sonnen has changed his tune, though, and he has even admitted that his own mother is a big fan of the former The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil coach. 

After Sonnen's fight with Jones was turned down by the champion, Jones went on to accept a fight against Vitor Belfort, whom he will now battle at UFC 152. 

"If there was any word to describe what happened in that 48-hour period, it would be surprised," Sonnen said regarding his reaction to being told that he wouldn't be fighting Jones, but that Belfort would just a month later. "Maybe even one step further of disbelief." 

With Sonnen no longer competing for the title against Jones, his schedule has now been opened up. His previously scheduled fight against Forrest Griffin is not certain any longer, and although no opponent has been officially announced, Sonnen did let fans know that there is something in the works.

"We'll see," he said. "There's going to be some news coming out on me soon. We'll see how things play out. Stay tuned."