Chael Sonnen’s next fight will take place in the light-heavyweight division after he announced last night that he’s set to fight Forrest Griffin in the UFC’s end of year event on December 29th in Las Vegas.
“A number of year ago I fought with a guy that turned out to become a very good friend of mine – I lost the match,” Sonnen said on UFC Tonight.
“Since becoming friends and competitors with him I’ve also became a fan and I’ve watched him win the world championship, I watched him etch his name in stone as a guaranteed future Hall of Famer. You and I and the whole world together watched him be a large portion in changing the industry we have today. He is the one guy Jon Jones hasn’t fought, he’s beat two world champions in his last three outings, and, on December 29th, I will be taking on Forrest Griffin.”
Sonnen has indeed fought Griffin before, losing by triangle choke in the first round all the way back in 2003 at an IFC event, two years before Griffin became the winner of The Ultimate Fighter’s first ever season.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, with Griffin having briefly held the light-heavyweight title back in 2008, while Sonnen has twice fought for the middleweight championship.
This is certainly a major fight for the UFC’s last show of 2012 and could potentially establish a fresh challenger for Jon Jones if Sonnen emerges with the win.
In fact, while Sonnen refrained from trash-talking about Griffin, he did aim one of his trademark verbal jabs in Jones direction last night.
“Sure, I could move up to 205lbs and I could take Jon Jones belt the same way I could take his candy at Halloween, right? – a little punk kid, I could snatch it away all I want, but there’s something to be said in sportsmanship for earning your shot and on the 29th of December I’m going to go through Forrest to do it.”
Regardless of the fact that there’s going to be a lot of interest in this fight it’s not expected to headline the UFC’s final event of the year. That honor is still believed to be reserved for a heavyweight title fight between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, and that should ensure that this will be a must-see pay-per-view card.
Watch Sonnen announce his opponent on Fuel TV last night below.