World Extreme Cagefighting on Monday announced that Chael Sonnen, originally scheduled to challenge Paulo Filho for his middleweight title, will now face Bryan Baker in a non-title bout on March 26 in Las Vegas.
The Sonnen vs. Filho title bout fell apart last week when Filho withdrew from the bout and checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic in Brazil to treat a substance problem.
Baker was originally scheduled to face Logan Clark on March 26.
In an interview with MMAWeekly on Friday, Sonnen was rather forthright about his thoughts on whether he gets a shot at Filho or not. “I’ve got a goal to beat Paulo in the ring, but that’s it. I don’t have a goal to beat him in life or for him to have a bad life. Sounds like he’s maybe got a couple of things that he’s working on outside of the ring and I really hope that goes well for him.
“If the title shot comes, great. If he’s not ready to compete by then, and I’m purely speculating, what I would think is that at some point, (the WEC is) going to have to take that title away if he’s not ever going to get in the ring.”
Sonnen is returning from a controversial loss to Filho in December, looking to get back on the winning track. He had put together a five-fight streak of victories before the loss to Filho.
Currently training at American Kickboxing Academy for his fight, Baker is undefeated in professional competition, putting together a record of 6-0. Sonnen, however, will likely be his toughest test to date.