Well this is interesting: reports from MMAJunkie and HeavyMMA are indicating that Chael Sonnen will not be getting that bout with Lyoto Machida that he’s been bucking for, and instead will meet middleweight Brian Stann at UFC 136 in October.
Sonnen, who will no doubt make our “P4P Most Entertaining Fighters Outside the Cage” list (if we ever get around to actually compiling it), has been lobbing barbs at anyone with a connection to middleweight king Anderson Silva for about a year now, including the Nogueira brothers and Machida. Rumors over the past week had hinted that Sonnen may be briefly visiting the light heavyweight division for a fight with the Dragon, which would have undoubtedly led to smack talk of a magnitude that the MMA world was unprepared for.
Of course, this also begs the question of how Sonnen will approach building up the fight: Stann is “The All-American”, after all, and attacking him verbally may not go over as well as the incendiary tweets Sonnen has aimed at our Brazilian friends. Judging by his latest work on Twitter, Sonnen may simply continue to trash everyone from Black House while staying low key with Stann.
We’d assume that this fight will produce the next challenger for the title. Stann is 3-0 as a UFC middleweight, including his impressive KO win over Chris Leben in January, while Sonnen’s submission loss on the doorstep of decision victory over Silva had many clamoring for an immediate rematch. Whoever wins this one would appear to be on deck for a title shot in early 2012.
One last note: UFC 136 is currently scheduled to take place in Houston, which is part of the United State and By-God Republic of Texas in ‘Merica, a small country located between the US and Mexico known for its anything-goes athletic commission and lackadaisical enforcement of sporting laws. We could be cynical and point out that Texas would probably be the easiest state for Sonnen to get a license to compete, but cynicism is just so hipsterish and douchey. We’d hate to be like that.