Chael Sonnen: Move to Middleweight Will Spark Title Fight

Alex NeelyContributor IIIJuly 24, 2013

SonnenJonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Chael Sonnen announced a return to the middleweight division and a new five-fight contract on UFC Tonight.

"There are two guys I want to get matched up with. The first is Vitor Belfort because he's awesome and he's on an incredible roll. Second, is Wanderlei [Silva], who I have now found out is going back to middleweight," said Sonnen. "The landscape has completely changed. I have a new contract, and I'm returning to the weight class."

Yet, one can't help but think how coincidental the move is for Sonnen. I can't imagine a simple weight cut by Silva or win streak by Belfort would constitute a complete change to the "landscape." It couldn't be Chris Weidman's defeat of Anderson Silva for the middleweight title, could it?

And then, there it is; the image of Sonnen, slithering like a title-driven snake through divisions, hissing more trash talk, eyes expectantly awaiting the flash of cameras.

First, Sonnen will compete for the second straight time in the light heavyweight division when he squares off against Mauricio Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Boston on Aug. 17.

And win or lose, Sonnen will remind all he was fighting in a heavier division, where he went "toe-to-toe" with the champion Jon Jones, because no one else had the guts. Then maybe he will fight Wanderlei Silva; a match seemingly tailor-made for Sonnen. Or maybe he won't. Maybe he won't fight anyone, and begin to salivate with Weidman insults, New York jokes and Matt Serra impressions.

In those moments of humor, fans will begin to forget about Sonnen's last fight - a TKO loss to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 148. They will forget the two title fight losses to former middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Discussions will permeate through the mixed martial arts community about Sonnen and Weidman's wrestling, UFC announcer Joe Rogan will call the fight an "interesting clash of two remarkable wrestlers," and UFC President Dana White will start to tell reporters it is the fight fans want to see.

The fight will be made as the headline of a pay-per view, forums will explode with predictions, and journalists will revel in interviewing the Oregon native, who will deem the bout the "worst East Coast/West Coast rivalry since Tupac and Notorious B.I.G."

And yet come fight night, I will be sitting in front of my television, forgetting every word of this article, engrossed in the story line of Weidman versus Sonnen, ordering another UFC pay-per view.