by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com

It may not
be the main event for UFC 109, but when Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt meet on
Feb 6 it will be the only fight on the card pitting two top ten ranked fighters
against one another.  The fight will
have long standing implications in the title picture as well. UFC president
Dana White on Thursday confirmed that the winner will get a
next shot at the UFC middleweight championship.


was already told he would get the shot if he defeats Sonnen, but the Oregonian
wasn’t so sure prior to Thursday.


said anything like that to me, but that’s what I think will happen,"
Sonnen said when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio recently. "I don’t know that
for sure.  I don’t know that, that
goes both ways, it’s not set in stone for me."


coming back to the UFC following the removal of the 185-pound weight class from
the WEC, Sonnen has gone 2-1 in the UFC, with impressive wins over Yushin Okami
and Dan Miller.  His most recent
win over Okami made quite a few people take notice and give him the respect he
deserves, but to hear Sonnen tell it, respect is just a made up word.


been ranked in the top ten for a while now, in the fight game that’s all there
is," Sonnen commented. 

"They only talk about the top ten, they don’t talk about the top 2
or 3.  If you’re anywhere in the
top ten, you’re getting what you called respect.  I don’t know what that word means.  That’s what some gangbanger put in a rap song when I was in
middle school, the word ‘respect’ and now we’ve got guys
shooting each other over it.


don’t use the word respect, but as far as being regarded and recognized for my
success, I’ve been in the top ten for a few years now, I’ve been pleased with


some of the stiffest competition the middleweight division has to offer, Sonnen
is okay with the idea that he has to truly fight his way to the top because he
doesn’t want anything handed to him.


definitely dealt me some aces," said Sonnen.  "I don’t know that Nate is any higher up the food chain
than Okami or Paulo Filho for that matter, or Jeremy Horn, I fought him twice
when he was ranked No. 1 in the world.  I fought Babalu
twice when he was ranked No. 2 in the world. He even
had two title shots with Liddell. 

I don’t know if this fight’s any tougher, but when they’ve got somebody
that nobody else will fight, they call me cause I will show up and fight."


that this is another tough fight, Sonnen points out that he’s not necessarily
excited about fighting Nate Marquardt in particular, but he does give credit to
what his opponent brings into the cage with him.


just a good tough guy.  He’s scratched
and clawed to get where he is at. I can’t fault him at
all," Sonnen commented about Marquardt.  "He’s certainly beatable, that style he’s got is
beatable.  He’s beaten up a lot of
people, there’s no way around that."


will look to scratch and claw his own way towards a shot at the UFC
middleweight title when he faces Nate Marquardt at UFC 109 on Saturday night in
Las Vegas.


Watch Chael Sonnen’s
UFC 109 pre-fight video interview.