Chael Sonnen (pictured) will no longer get to fight archenemy Wanderlei Silva at UFC 175, but he was gifted a nice consolation prize.
Sonnen will now battle Vitor Belfort in a middleweight top contender contest. Despite the fact they won’t meet until July 5, which is exactly 38 days from now, they will collide in a light heavyweight affair.
Just to clarify, Sonnen, who has lost three of his past four scraps, can earn another shot at the UFC middleweight belt by winning a 205-pound bout. Let’s not even talk about the fact they have over five weeks to make 185 pounds.
“The stakes are up. I am now fighting in a #1 contender’s match,” Sonnen said on “UFC Tonight.” “The winner of my bout will take on the winner of (current middleweight champion) Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida.
“Vitor and I are both middleweights, 185 pound division, and that is the contendership that is on the line. Vitor Belfort is the #1 contender, he’s putting that title on the line against me. Consider it a catchweight, that will take place at 205 pounds.
Um, yeah. Thanks for confirming, Uncle Chael.
Belfort is the division’s top contender, so there are no qualms with him retaining that moniker by beating Sonnen at any weight class. But for Sonnen to get a crack at the middleweight crown on the strength of a 2-3 run, with all but one of those fights taking place at light heavyweight?
If that’s the way things work, Nick Diaz, who is currently retired after losing two straight title tilts, is completely justified for demanding a championship fight in order to return to action.