Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman and Chael Sonnen may all be in the Octagon at the same time on December 28 in one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history.
During an interview with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, Sonnen announced he was applying for a referee license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which would give him an opportunity to officiate the middleweight title bout at UFC 168 between Silva and Weidman:
I’m putting in an application. I’m going to try to get my referee’s license, and I’m hoping to officiate [Weidman vs. Silva]. Whether they assign me to it, I’ve reffed plenty of matches in other jurisdictions, and I’m applying for that one in Nevada.
The professional wrestling gods must be smiling down heavily on the UFC.
Sonnen serving as an official for a Silva fight is like Vince McMahon reffing a wrestling match for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
The historic feud and venomous exchanges shared between Sonnen and Silva is packed with enough drama to serve as its own Hollywood biopic.
In fact, it has only been a few days since Sonnen told reporters during the media conference call for UFC on Fox Sports 1 that he wanted to fight Silva for a third time. Whether Sonnen gets licensed or not, the Silva camp would likely appeal any such notion of him actually officiating the middleweight title bout.
Just ask yourself: Would you be comfortable with your most bitter rival, whom you’ve already defeated twice, refereeing your UFC title bout?
Sonnen isn’t holding his breath on the commission offering him the main event bout. He told Helwani he knows it’s a long shot, but it’s hard to pass up on an opportunity to be a part of history:
To get the main event, no, it’ll be tough unless I can work a show or two in before then in Nevada. I actually don’t know what the schedule is there. I don’t want to make a pitch to [NSAC executive director Keith Kizer]. He makes expert opinions. He knows exactly what he’s doing. There’s great refs out there, but you brought it up, I want to ref it. I’m sure every other ref does too, but I’m putting my name in.
People always talk about the overwhelming odds of traveling to Brazil and defeating Silva in front of his hometown fans. In December, Silva might very well compete against the only man to ever defeat him in the UFC with his longtime rival calling the fight.
Imagine those odds.