While a middleweight title bout between champ Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami headlines UFC 134 on Saturday, there’s another 185-pounder that’s hovering around trying to steal the spotlight. Although Chael Sonnen will have his hands full when he meets Brian Stann at UFC 136 in October, the controversial wrestler just can’t seem to get “The Spider” off his mind.
“[UFC president Dana White] and I are at a crossroads,” Sonnen said on Bruce Buffer’s “It’s Time” radio show. “Dana wants [my fight with Stann] to be a No. 1 contender’s match and wants me to fight for the championship. I don’t have anything against fighting my friend Yushin Okami, who will be the champion by then, but I have unfinished business with Anderson Silva.
“For me, what I am lobbying for, is win or lose, I will fight Anderson Silva next. Anderson will be working his way back up, or I should say working his way down. I’m going to grab him and beat him up anyway, just for laughs, just on principle. Just for my sheer entertainment, I’m going to go slap that guy around. I don’t need his little tin belt. I’m already the champion.”
Technically, Sonnen lost his championship bout against Silva at UFC 117. After dominating the planet’s baddest middleweight for the better part of their five-round affair, Sonnen wound up getting submitted at the 11th hour. The August 2010 shootout was the last time fight fans have seen the troubled Sonnen competing inside the Octagon.
During his year-long hiatus, courtesy of a failed drug test and his involvement in a money laundering scheme, it appears Sonnen has been studying the fine art of odds making. If that’s the case, he may want to stick with his day job because he might not be in business for too long.
While Silva is an overwhelming 5-to-1 favorite with most sportsbooks, Sonnen claims Okami is the undeniable odds-on favorite entering Brazil.
“Yushin’s gotta be a clear favorite. Yushin’s much better than Anderson,” Sonnen expressed. “Yushin beat Anderson the last time they fought. It’s real hard to imagine how Anderson would win, but that doesn’t mean he can’t. He’s pulled it off a few times before.
“I think the hardest part of selling this fight, as they say, is convincing people that Anderson’s actually got a chance.”
Okami posted a controversial disqualification win over Silva in January of 2006 when he received an illegal kick to the face. The rematch goes down this Saturday inside the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.