Following Chael Sonnen Controversy, UFC Invites LeBron James to UFC 162

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IJune 21, 2013

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 20:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrates with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after defeating the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win Game Seven of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on June 20, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Following his second consecutive NBA championship, the UFC has invited NBA Finals MVP LeBron James to watch Anderson Silva defend his middleweight strap at UFC 162

Congrats @miamiheat! How about your champ @kingjames come and watch our champ @SpiderAnderson at #UFC162? Deal?

— UFC (@ufc) June 21, 2013

Prior to his second title reign, James' name was a hot topic among all sports fans after three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen called out the basketball superstar in an interview with Bleacher Report's own Jeremy Botter

"The American Gangster" really raised some eyebrows when he was asked how a potential fight with James inside the cage would go down: 

"He’d run away faster than his hairline. His hair went North, his talents went South and his mother went West ... No challenge. It's happening. Next time I see him, he will shake that little boy's hand, even if I have to break his arm off and take it to the boy."

Sonnen is referring to a rumor that James' former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Delonte West slept with his mother, Gloria James, during the 2010 playoffs, a rumor that West later denied (via Global Grind).

In the same interview, Sonnen also alleges that James snubbed a handicapped fan the opportunity for a photo when he was approached in the crowd at UFC 148. 

Right after the fight, James tweeted "Congrats from one Champ to another!" and posted some photos of the two meeting backstage, including this one: 

Silva was, of course, one of Sonnen's biggest rivals since 2010, though after his second loss to the dominant middleweight titleholder, "Uncle Chael" let the feud die. 

James has not responded to any of Sonnen's remarks, though that is unlikely to deter whatever the Team Quest standout wants to say next. 

UFC 162 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 6, headlined by Silva defending his belt against undefeated prospect Chris Weidman.


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for and contributes MMA videos to The Young Turks Sports Show.