Chael Sonnen Signs New UFC Contract, Intends to Drop Back to Middleweight After Shogun

July 24, 2013

Chael SonnenChael Sonnen has a light heavyweight bout on tap with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 in Boston, but after that, he’s headed back to middleweight.

Sonnen moved up to light heavyweight to coach opposite Jon Jones on The Ultimate Fighter and then challenge him for his belt at UFC 159. Sonnen failed in his attempt to win the title, but agreed to another bout at 205 pounds to help launch the new Fox Sports 1 network on Aug. 17.

After that, with a new contract in hand, he’ll be dropping back down to middleweight.

“I’ll return to middleweight after beating Shogun,” said Sonnen on Tuesday night’s edition of UFC Tonight. “There’re two guys I want to get matched up with: Vitor Belfort, because he’s awesome and he’s on an incredible roll. And Wanderlei Silva, who I’ve heard is going back to middleweight.

“The landscape has completely changed. I’ve got a new contract and I’m returning to the weight class.”

Sonnen’s new contract is a five-fight deal that should keep the 36-year-old in the UFC for at least the next couple of years.

Along with the new contract and pending move to middleweight, Sonnen also has a new training camp, surprisingly with one of the top contenders in the 185-pound division.

“I’ve moved to Southern California and am training at Reign with Mark Munoz,” he declared. “My new contract, which is a five-fight deal, was finalized today.”

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