Chael Sonnen was in attendance at UFC 132 this past weekend, and as we reported on Sunday, the controversial fighter mentioned that on his return he’d be interested in a fight at 205lbs against former champion Lyoto Machida.
Since then Machida has commented on Sonnen’s call-out and indicated that he too is interested in the fight.
“I think that’s great, I’m excited to do that,” Machida told TATAME earlier today. “He’s coming back now, wants to fight, and I really think it’s a good fight for me. If Sonnen really wants this fight, I’ll sign it immediately, no problem at all.
According to FightersOnly all of this is not just idle chit-chat, in fact they claim that a source close to the situation has revealed to them that verbal agreements are already in place for the bout to take place at UFC 136 on October 8th.
If true this would certainly be an exciting addition to the UFC’s fall schedule.
Machida is now back on track with a big win over Randy Couture, finishing him with a spectacular flying front kick to the face, but as he pointed out to TATAME today, he’s somewhat in limbo at the moment with the other major contenders in the light-heavyweight division already scheduled to fight.
Therefore a fight with Sonnen would keep him busy against a high profile opponent while waiting to see how the top of the division shakes out over the course of the next few months.
As for Sonnen, following a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a suspension and legal troubles he has risen in weight so a stopover at 205lbs makes the most sense for him to fulfill his desire to get back into action as quickly as possible.
It’s undoubtedly a risky strategy though given that he’s a natural middleweight and Machida is one of the elite fighters in the light-heavyweight division. Given that ring-rust could also be a factor it’s hardly the ideal ‘tune-up fight’ to ease him back into competitive action.
His impressive performance against Anderson Silva last year will give him confidence however, and his dominant wrestling abilities could certainly pose problems for Machida’s Karate based style.
It will also ensure that Sonnen is thrust back into the spotlight as quickly as possible, and knowing his persona that’s exactly where he wants to be.