When it was originally announced that Chael Sonnen would be returning to the light heavyweight division to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 155, we took it as a classic case of a fighter changing weight classes in order to save his career. He had come up short in both his title shots at middleweight, and as Josh Koscheck would tell you if he was aware of it, the chances of any 0-2 fighter receiving a third shot against the same champion is next to impossible. And being that Chael fraking Sonnen is not a man who fights anything but marquee fights these days, his chances to make waves at 205 were clearly better than his chances at 185. The fact that he could barely even make the announcement without drawing Jon Jones into a Twitter war only confirms Sonnen’s devious intentions.
And as is usually the case, Chael was successful in drawing us out of the woodwork to throw his name in with the phrase “title shot,” whether it was in agreement or bitter disapproval of the idea. Because Sonnen is like the entire cast of a heist movie packed into one person when it comes to hustling in the MMA game, capable of releasing more red herrings, smoke signals, and false MacGuffins than Ocean’s Eleven through Thirteen combined. Hell, I immediately launched into a vast conspiracy theory in which Sonnen became the number one contender and Jones possibly faked injury in order to set up a fight between them down the line.
But I live in a world of paranoia, delusion, and fear. One that apparently many of you are living in as well, because in a recent appearance on Las Vegas’ “Dave and Mahoney” show, Dana White addressed the concerns that a lot of us are sharing, another undeserved title shot for Sonnen.
Well, we can all rest assured that it will be at least two more fights before rumors of Sonnen vs. Jones gain any ground, at least according to The Baldfather:
He’s a long way away. He’s not coming off the (Anderson) Silva fight and just talking his way into a 205-pound world title shot. [Sonnen] is going to have to beat a couple of the best in the world.
If he beats Forrest Griffin, we’ll shoot him right into the top five and let him fight some of those guys there, and we’ll see what happens.
Although I’m relatively surprised that a win over Griffin nets you a top five spot these days, this revelation shouldn’t catch many of us off guard considering how desolate the light heavyweight division has become. We’ve already used the latest scientific technology to predetermine the outcome of Sonnen vs. Griffin, but the fact that Sonnen is currently listed as a 3-1 favorite over the former light heavyweight champ doesn’t exactly agree with what Dana is saying.
It’s a minute issue, I understand, but it’s also an unfortunately slow news day, and I can’t be here all fraking day. If Jones gets past Dan Henderson at UFC 151, he’ll have ridden the division of all the challengers he actually wants to face at the moment, so with that, I’ll turn the question to you. What does Sonnen have to do at 205 to rightfully earn a title shot in your eyes?
Granted, Jones hasn’t even gotten past Hendo yet, or Lyoto for a second time, but fevered speculation is basically all that keeps us MMA diehards entertained in between fight cards, so just get wild with it.