If you’ve been following Chael Sonnen’s twitter account or happened to watch his interview with Ariel Helwani over the weekend, you know that Sonnen has been calling out former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida… a lot. While it was more or less ignored by fans and the media since Sonnen and Machida compete in different weight classes, it appears that both Machida and the UFC were listening because the match-up is reportedly in the works.
With the cream of the light heavyweight crop already booked for fights, Lyoto Machida told Tatame he would sign to fight Chael Sonnen “immediately.”
Nothing yet, that’s the problem. All of the potential opponents are set to fight, and I think I’ll just have to wait. Rampage will fight Jon Jones, Franklin fights Minotouro, Phil Davis vs Rashad, so I’ll have to wait for the definition of these fights so start my training focused.
I think that’s great, I’m excited to do that. [Sonnen’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.
While it’s unlikely that Machida has already signed on the dotted line since that interview, ESPN UK is reporting that the fight is planned for UFC 136 in Houston.
With many of the top contenders in the light-heavyweight division already signed to fights, a high-profile clash with Sonnen, just back from suspension, is mooted for UFC 136. That card is set to take place in Houston on October 8, and could feature the next featherweight title defence of Jose Aldo against Kenny Florian.
ESPN’s report didn’t mention any sources, so it’s unclear where they got such information, but Fighters Only Magazine is also reporting that this fight is planned for UFC 136. In fact, they add that it’s “all but a done deal.”
It is interesting to note that if the fight is in fact planned for UFC 136, it would take place in Texas — the same state that just issued Josh Barnett a license despite his ongoing issues with the CSAC. Based on that precedence, there’s little reason to believe Sonnen would have any problems getting licensed there as well with his unfinished business with both the CSAC and NSAC still looming.
More of Uncle Chael’s taunting tweets: