Chael Sonnen Signs 5-Fight Deal with the UFC

Dustin FilloyFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2013

Apr 27, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Chael Sonnen during a press conference after UFC 159 at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Granted, Chael Sonnen didn't get UFC president Dana White's least favorite Ferrari, but the Oregonian naturally seemed just as thrilled to accept his boss' counteroffer, a new Dodge Ram pickup truck.

Sonnen, who made a comedic list of demands regarding his potential new contract at the UFC Fan Expo on July 6, announced on this week's episode of UFC Tonight that he inked a five-fight deal with the UFC.

"The American Gangster" also announced his intentions to return to his natural weight class of 185 pounds following his bout with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC Fight Night on Fox Sports 1.

After I get done with Shogun, I’m returning to middleweight. There’s two guys that I want to get matched up with. First is Vitor Belfort because he’s awesome and on an incredible roll, and the second is Wanderlei [Silva], who I’ve now found out is going back to middleweight. The landscape has completely changed. I got a new contract, and I’m returning to the weight class.

Sonnen would only tease the crowd at the UFC Fan Expo about the specifics of his potential contract. But in typical American Gangster fashion, he generated plenty of chatter in the wake of his mythical list of demands, which included such quips as: "Every fight I'm in must be a No. 1 contender fight or a title match. If I lose I get an immediate rematch until I win." and "No media can look me in the eye or they'll be removed from the room."

Some believe Sonnen, who's lost two fights in a row and three of his last five, only stays relevant because of his comedic value and his ability to sell fights.

Before his back-to-back losses to Jon Jones (light heavyweight) and Anderson Silva (middleweight) in title fights, Sonnen earned consecutive wins over Brian Stann and Michael Bisping at 185 pounds.

While some doubt what he's got left, the experts at apparently still assume Sonnen possesses top-tier wrestling and ground-and-pound chops. Otherwise the aggregate betting website certainly wouldn't have pegged the 36-year-old as a 1.45-to-1 favorite (-145) to best Rua (+115).

A former light heavyweight champ, Rua has also fallen on tough times, dropping two of his last three fights and three of his last five.