So now that we know that former middleweight No.1 contender Chael Sonnen will be eligible to fight again come March 2nd, what comes next for him?
According to Sonnen himself in his first interview since his suspension was handed down, he already knows.
“Uh, I do know, but it’s… it’s a secret at this point,” Sonnen told Mike Straka on Inside MMA.
Naturally the sooner they can get Sonnen into a rematch with Anderson Silva as was originally planned the better. The current middleweight champion is currently tied up with a fight against Vitor Belfort on February 5th though, and if the UFC stays true to their word then the winner would then go on to fight Yushin Okami.
So, assuming Silva is out of the picture for the time being, who else is there?
The name that stands out right now is Wanderlei Silva. He’s expected to return from injury around March time, and there’s already some momentum behind a fight between the two with Silva having confronted Sonnen face-to-face on video a few months ago over what he perceived as disrespectful comments from him regarding Brazil.
Meanwhile, the UFC have still yet to announce who will be coaching TUF Season 13 which begins filming early next year, and conveniently it’s set to showcase up and coming middleweight talent (along with welterweights).
Sonnen is perfect for the role, and Wanderlei would be the perfect foil for him. If the UFC hold firm with their current title plans at 185lbs then this seems like a no-brainer to keep Sonnen occupied in the mean-time.