For some, listening to Chael Sonnen talk about future opponents and upcoming fights can feel a lot like finding out your high school nemesis just won the lottery. The guy was a complete ass to you for four years, and yet he always seemed to come out on top unscathed. Sonnen’s Teflon persona may rub you the wrong way, but it’s the same reason you’ll pay $49.99 to watch one of his fights on pay-per-view – so you can see the man standing across the cage beat some humility into him.
It was Sonnen who announced on UFC Tonight Tuesday that his fight against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua would go down at UFC on Fox Sports 1 1 on August 17th in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition, the fight will headline the inaugural Fox Sports 1 event. It’s fairly obvious the UFC will look to squeeze every ounce of potential promotional ridiculousness out of the West Linn gangsta to help “sell” this fight. But judging by Sonnen’s comments immediately following the announcement it’s clear he’s annoyed he won’t get his shot at the Axe Murderer. At least not at the moment.
“We were going to fight in Winnipeg (at UFC 161). We ended up moving the fight, they pulled ‘Shogun’ off the card completely. They’re going to match us up in a couple months,” Sonnen said on FUEL TV’s UFC Tonight.
“Look, I went after Wanderlei, and I was quite candid. I went after Wanderlei because he was the worst guy I could find. Record-wise, in fairness, he’s the worst fighter in the UFC. And I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, ‘What about ‘Cro Cop?’ You’re right, ‘Cro Cop’ was terrible. But Wanderlei’s record is actually a little bit worse. I couldn’t get Wanderlei, so I’m going, ‘Look, why don’t I just do this — why don’t I just fight the guy that destroyed Wanderlei for years in the practice room,’ and that brings us to ‘Shogun.’
“I like ‘Shogun.’ I have nothing against ‘Shogun.’,” Sonnen continued. “This is just good, solid competition. But Wanderlei did this to you, ‘Shogun.’
Ever the opportunist Sonnen tried to take advantage of the his long-standing beef with Wanderlei, but for whatever the reason – including the possibility that Wandi refused to sign a bout agreement – Shogun was chosen (by Sonnen) as a worthy adversary. Either way it’s not going to effect the overall TV ratings nearly as much as many would like you to believe, and whether you love him or hate him you’re bound to tune in anyways to see the eventual outcome. Aren’t you?