Chael Sonnen Wants Wanderlei Silva Next and Manager Expects Silva to Accept

Damon Martin@@DamonMartinContributor IAugust 21, 2013

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 17: Chael Sonnen reacts after winning the fight with a tap out by guillotine choke against Mauricio Rua in their light heavyweight bout at TD Garden on August 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Chael Sonnen has been gunning for former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva, and all signs are pointing to that fight happening next.

Sonnen and Silva have been embroiled in a war of words for the past few months and have danced around the idea of fighting each other, but the bout has never been put together.

Now it seems the fight is all but a lock and is just awaiting the UFC stamp of approval.

On Tuesday night's edition of UFC Tonight, Sonnen was responding to an initial challenge that came from Vitor Belfort about a potential fight, but in answering that question, the former middleweight title contender all but confirmed that Silva is his next fight.

"It's so clear that I'm about to fight Wanderlei Silva. This fight is coming up," Sonnen stated. "This fight has obviously been coming up."

While the UFC has not made any kind of announcement about the fight, Sonnen is definitely targeting Silva for his return to the Octagon later this year.

"Chael definitely wants the fight with Wanderlei," Sonnen's manager Mike Roberts from MMA Inc. said when speaking to Bleacher Report on Wednesday. "We fully expect (Wanderlei) to take it."

For Silva's part, following last Saturday's event where Sonnen defeated his former training partner and close friend Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, he released a message on Twitter saying, "UFC haven't called yet!"

Prior to the fight taking place, Silva stated "we have unfinished business" when speaking about Sonnen and their long-standing grudge against each other.

The fight is still not official, but it seems that only a few details need to be hammered out before Sonnen and Silva can sign on for the matchup.

There's the matter of where the fight would take place because the UFC is still filling up cards for the remainder of 2013, so there are plenty of possible options for a fight of that magnitude.

Another decision that needs to be made is the bout's weight class. Both men have fought at light heavyweight recently, but Sonnen is naturally a middleweight, and Silva has competed at 185 pounds on numerous occasions.

Either way, it looks like Sonnen and Silva are on a collision course for a big fight in the UFC later this year.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.