While most would be fazed after pleading guilty to money laundering in U.S. District Court, the show will go on for Chael Sonnen. MMAJunkie is reporting the controversial middleweight will face Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128 on March 19th inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The political hopeful will be taking March Madness to a whole new level this year. Sonnen’s UFC 117 drug suspension will be lifted on the 2nd of the month, and he’ll be sentenced for his role in the $65,000 scam roughly 10 days after the pivotal matchup.
If reports hold true, this will mark his first Octagon appearance since testing positive for high levels of testosterone in August. Sonnen was having the fight of his life at UFC 117 when he dominated pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva for the better part of four rounds.
Unfortunately, championship affairs last up to 25 minutes and he fell right into Silva’s trap. The Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist submitted his chatty challenger with only 110 ticks remaining on the clock.
Akiyama holds a respectable 13-3 record, but has gone a sub-par 1-2 inside the Octagon. “Sexyama” returns to action after a disappointing loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 120 in October.
Here are the fighters rumored for the pay-per-view event:
Dan Miller vs. David Branch
Kamal Shalorus vs. Jim Miller
Luiz Cane vs. Karlos Vemola
Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau
Ricardo Almeida vs. Mike Pyle
Bredan Schaub vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Chael Sonnen vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland
Rashad Evans vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (UFCLight Heavyweight Champion)