In his latest attempt to remain in the mixed martial arts headlines, Chael Sonnen has decided to pick a fight with former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Over the 4th of July weekend, the middleweight told MMAFighting he was seeking a “tune-up” fight for his comeback and wouldn’t mind “taking out Machida.”
Although they compete in completely different divisions, Sonnen has been dissing every Brazilian within earshot since taking 185-pound king Anderson Silva to the brink of defeat at UFC 117. While he was submitted by Silva at the 11th hour in their August 2010 shootout, Sonnen believes he’s got the answers for everyone associated with MMA’s famed Team Black House.
If Sonnen would like to enter “The Dragon’s” domain, Machida would be more than happy to roll out the welcome back wagon for Uncle Chael.
“I think that’s great, I’m excited to do that. He’s coming back now, wants to fight and I really think it’s a good fight for me,” Machida told Tatame. “If Sonnen really wants this fight, I’ll sign it immediately. No problem at all.”
The pickings are fairly slim for Sonnen in the middleweight division. Jason Miller and Michael Bisping are occupied coaching opposite each other in “The Ultimate Fighter 14” and Wanderlei Silva appears to be headed for Octagon retirement.
While Brian Stann, Chris Leben and Mark Munoz are all suitable opponents in the 185-pound division, Sonnen has no prior beef with them. That’s why his sights remain set on the Brazilians, even if they compete in larger weight classes.
Sonnen’s indefinite suspension officially expired on June 29th, so he is now eligible to reapply for sanctioning with any athletic commission – including California and Nevada. While those two states are long shots to license Sonnen anytime in the near future, there are plenty of others (Texas) that would be willing to roll the dice on the 34-year-old.