Chael Sonnen Rematches Forrest Griffin in Return to Light Heavyweight in December

August 14, 2012
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Chael Sonnen at the UFC 148 Open WorkoutsChael Sonnen is gunning for a new title in the UFC and his pursuit starts in December against a former champion.

Following a loss to Anderson Silva in July at UFC 148, rumors began to circulate that Sonnen was considering a move back to 205 pounds. The Oregon native has fought at light heavyweight several times in his career, and there appeared to be a few options available to him if he returned there for his next bout in the Octagon.

It looks like he found a prize worth pursuing.

Sonnen co-hosted UFC Tonight on Tuesday evening and announced that he would be returning to 205 pounds to face former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in December.

“I’ve watched him win the world championship. I’ve watched him etch his name in stone as a guaranteed future Hall of Famer. You and I and the whole world together watched him be a large part of creating and changing the industry that we have today. He’s one guy Jon Jones hasn’t fought, he’s beat two world champions in his last three outings, and on Dec. 29, I will be taking on Forrest Griffin,” Sonnen stated.

The bout between Sonnen and Griffin is actually a rematch of a fight the two had back in 2003 during the famous IFC Global Domination tournament in Denver. Griffin submitted Sonnen with a triangle choke in the one-night tournament, which Renato “Babalu” Sobral eventually won after putting in over 43 minutes in the cage.

The former middleweight title contender has never been short on words when it came to any fight or potential match-up, and it’s no different as Sonnen returns to 205.

His sights now appear aimed directly at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, but first he’s paying respect by going through a former titleholder to earn his way.

“Well, it’s not a matter of Forrest Griffin. I get very frustrated that Forrest’s name is left out of the conversation. This is a guy who has beat everybody. He’s never even been in talks to fight Jon Jones. He’s coming off a fight with Tito Ortiz, one of the most decorated light heavyweights of all time and a Hall of Famer. They go out, have a Fight of the Night, an awesome performance, and still he gets overlooked,” said Sonnen.

“Sure I could go up to 205 and I could take Jon Jones’ belt away, the same as I could take his candy on Halloween. He’s a little punk kid. I could snatch it away all I want, but there’s something to be said in sportsmanship for earning your shot, and on the 29th of December, I’m going to go through Forrest to do it.”

Sonnen will look to rectify his original loss to Griffin from 2003, and then, should he get past Griffin, he will look forward to moving up the ranks at light heavyweight.

Sonnen vs. Griffin is the second confirmed fight for the upcoming UFC pay-per-view in December, tentatively scheduled as UFC 155, along with the heavyweight title rematch between champion Junior dos Santos and challenger Cain Velasquez.

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  • bradwesley

    There is a reason his name isn’t mentioned Sonnen and it is because even in the Franklin fight his last 4 or 5 fights he looked like total dogshit.

    I do think Sonnen is funny but Jones would destroy him.

    Remember there is a reason him, Stann and Boestch all left light heavy and it is because they sucked there.

    • lfighterc

      is this the first fight in ufc history where both fighters are on TRT?, and its funny how even with TRT these fighters are still the biggest POWDER punchers in the UFC

    • Lesnardo

      And Vitor and Bisping and Hendo (who is now good and decided to come back to LHW). The MW division is dominated by these 205 rejects and one Anderson Silva.

      This is the reason why Anderson Silva’s wins against LHW rejects aka MWs should be observed carefully.

  • Mario

    Here we go again…. 🙂

    To be absolutely honest though, I like Chael now. He’s a good guy. I can’t help respect the guy after the 2nd Silva fight. He’s handled himself like a professional.

    This should be a good fight.

  • rsnowbass

    I like good stand up comedy regardless of weightclass…


  • Triggerman99

    Well, that was kind of respectful- at least by Sonnen’s standards.

    I think Forrest’s size and strength might give Sonnen some problems. It’s definitely a good warm-up fight at 20r for someone in Sonnen’s postion, though.

  • Ketsugo_John

    Sonnen needs to be in the WWE. He’s a clown.

    • bigwurm

      your the clown, you wish you were him…

  • MaritalArtist

    Sonnen will do just fine at 205. His main problem, regardless of weight class, wasn’t being manhandled/undersized. His problem was getting submitted. Well, he just spent 2 years practicing how not to get submitted by Silva, so he’ll be fine now. Remember, he has arguably the best takedowns in MMA (along with GSP).

  • bradwesley

    I would personally like to see him get stomped by Machida though.

    • Lesnardo

      That would be brutal. Pretty much any top 5 LHW would give Sonnen a beating of his life.

    • KBEsq

      I totally agree. Especially after all the trash talk from Sonnen about Machida and Karate.

      As much as I dislike Sonnen, I think the move to LHW is a great idea and I think he will do well there. He’s improved a lot since he was last in that division. The problem is that the way Sonnen fights depends upon being bigger and stronger than his opponents. That gap between 185 and 205 is HUGE.

      What I DO NOT like about this is his opponent. I know Griffin is popular (personally, I can’t stand his alpha-male, phony self-deprecating attitude), but he isn’t gonna beat Sonnen. I think they should pull Texiera from Rampage, give Texiera a better opponent, and sell the Rampage/Sonnen fight. That will bring in huge dollars. Can you imagine the pre-fight trash talk between those two?

      • Lesnardo

        “He’s improved a lot since he was last in that division.”

        Maybe because he’s been fighting other dudes at MW who are also LHW rejects?

        Griffin beat Sonnen once before.

  • dgs

    “Sure I could go up to 205 and I could take Jon Jones’ belt away the same as I could take his candy on Halloween, he’s a little punk kid, I could snatch it away all I want”

    LOL!!! Sonnen’s mma abilities can be disputed, but one thing that can’t be disputed is his smack talking ability. The man is a master of that game.

    • gnodeb

      I’m amazed how he can turn on and off his trash talking engine. My inner hater was fired up in a second :P.

  • gnodeb

    Are we going to see this all over again? Sonnen will try to L&P against some “names” and if he manage to do that, he will trash talk JJ to the title fight and then he will quit after first failed TD with few millions in his pocket…

  • Sonnen is funny but if anyone including him actually thinks he can beat JJ is crazy…I am not sure Sonnen can even get to a title shot in that division….There are several guys in the division that will give him trouble and I am not even talking about the Champ…..I hope he doesnt talk his way to another Championship fight where he gets smashed…If he earns then so be it but I dont see it happening at 205….

  • smill0313

    Sonnen lost to Griffen via triangle choke, who would have thought that possible?

    Im glad he can be respectful to Griffen because im actually tired of disliking Sonnen. With that being said, he stands about as little a chance to dethrone Jones as possible. Any fighter has a punchers chance (even ol’ pillow hands) but thats an easy win for Jones.

  • Griffen or Sonnen fighting Jones would be sick! Let’s see how Henderson does first though. Him and Chael are friends and old training partners. If Henderson can’t beat Jones then the Sonnen match up losses more interest. I just like how he brings it to the guy every fight, reach isn’t an issue for him.

    • Lesnardo

      Your post is incomprehensible.

      • Ok so let me clear it up for you. What I’m saying is if Dan Henderson can’t be Jon Jones then a fight with Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones is not interesting b/c Chael and Dan are old training partners with similar styles.

        • Lesnardo

          OMG what are you saying?

          “Ok so let me clear it up for you. What I’m saying is if Dan Henderson can’t be Jon Jones then [a fight between Sonnen and Jones] [would not be] interesting b/c Chael and Dan are old training partners with similar styles.”

          Is this what you are trying to say? You are a horrible writer.

          In any case, training partner =/= same style.

          Chael has better double leg takedown. Hendo doesn’t rely heavily on G&P. Hendo is more like Randy. Also, Hendo has KO power. Chael doesn’t.

          You are duumb.

    • KBEsq

      Okay, maybe I’m a little intrigued by a possible match between Sonnen and Jones, but on what planet would a fight between Griffin and Jones be “sick”?

      • Just b/c Griffin has had some tough losses doesn’t mean he’s not a threat. He’s a veteran in the sport who tons of heart and is still game for any fight. Maybe I just give pro fighters all the respect in the world as compared to half of these fans. I’m just saying.

        • KBEsq

          Honestly, you can search this entire site, and you’d never find one comment from me where I am disrespectful to fighters based upon their fighting ability. I never say people suck, or they’re washed up, etc.

          I will, however, be critical of matches that I don’t think are competitive, or that can be made better by different opponents. There is a huge difference between disrespecting a fighter, and simply saying that it wouldn’t be “sick” to put the most dominant LHW EVER against a guy who isn’t in his league right now.

        • KBEsq

          There’s a huge difference between disrespecting a fighter, and questioning someone who says it would be ‘sick’ to see the most dominant LHW EVER fight a guy who is not in his league.

          • pooby

            I feel sick when I see an emotionally disturbed Forrest running out of the cage after every match.

          • Lesnardo

            Yeah. I mean…you gotta give respect to fighters. And I feel bad that they are not taken care of by the UFC who sucks the juice out of these guys.

            But as a fan I also don’t want to see underperformers. I want to see quality fights. That means fighters have to be big names, talented, and the fights have to make sense.

            Chael Sonnen couldn’t become champion at 185. What makes him think he could even break top 10 at the LHW division?

            Forrest pretty much lost every single meaningful fight since he beat Rampage back in 2008.

  • TKD

    This may be the FIRST time I have ever pulled for Griffin to win a fight. Sonnen has now decided to go after Jones? There aren’t words to describe just how idiotic Chael will look in a fight against Jones. I doubt he could beat anyone in the top 10 in that division.

    So, if he does manage to beat Griffin, we will have to listen to this human toilet say things like, ““Sure I could go up to 205 and I could take Jon Jones’ belt away, the same as I could take his candy on Halloween. He’s a little punk kid. I could snatch it away all I want…” When will this WWE clown ever get it that he is never going to be champ?!?!?!

    What a f*cking tool this guy is!

  • obuchons

    This will probably be typical UFC! Sonnen will beat up on a old F. Griffin who has not looked good in his last several fights! I think Danas words were “He should probably retire?” Then after one average win they will give him Bones! Not because he deserves it but because he talked his way into it!

    • TKD

      You are so right! That is exactly what will happen if Chael wins. He will talk sh*t, call out Jones, and Dana will be quick to suck Sonnen’s nuts and give him another title shot. What a waste of time!

  • adam1848

    I’m surprised Forrest wants this fight. Don’t really see it going his way. I think Chael knows this is the easiest fight that even has a chance of putting him in the title picture, and that is why he is talking up Forrest’s abilities when even us fans recognize that he has looked weak lately. I guess it could be a good fight, but I’m much more interested in how Gustafsson does against Shogun. If he dominates, I say he gets the next shot after Machida.

  • pooby

    I can understand why the UFC needs someone like Chael to challenge Jones. After Hendo, nobody is left.

    A couple questions come to mind:

    1. If Forrest Beats Chael, does HE get a title shot? Of course not. Chael needs to beat at least one of the string of former champs that Jones has torn up.

    2. Chael seems to take for granted that Jones will still be champ when and if Chael earns a shot. What if Hendo wins? Will Chael fight his friend?

  • AdamBianski

    Well let’s be honest with ourselves, Forrest will win easily. Chaell is a B+ figher with an A+ ability to run his mouth. Forrest wil win for sure, if somehow someway Chaell wins, maybe he fights Rashad then will really get decimated.

  • kevstinx

    Slow down, from Forrest to Rashad?

    No inbetween?

    Try some Phil Davis or other guy first, don’t give Chael the pleasure of getting beaten up by Rashad.

    What about Vera vs Sonnen and the loser has to **** off back to dodge.