Chael Sonnen has never been one to shy away from poking and prodding his way into a fight, something he’s trying to do again with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira injured and out of his UFC 161 bout with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Sonnen offered his services on last-minute notice when Dan Henderson was injured and fell out of his scheduled UFC 151 bout with Jon Jones. The fight didn’t happen then, but Sonnen was later rewarded for his offer with a coaching slot opposite Jones on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter and a shot at the champ at UFC 159.
Sonnen lost the bout to Jones, but regardless of the outcome, his stock rose to an all-time high. Love him or hate him, everyone knows the name Chael Sonnen.
After deciding not to retire following the Jones fight, Sonnen tried to goad Wanderlei Silva into a fight, but the Brazilian was slow on the uptake and Sonnen moved on.
With Nogueira withdrawing from the Shogun bout due to reported trouble with his back, Sonnen pounced on the opportunity to throw his name in the mix as a possible replacement. He tweeted a message out to Shogun, noting that he is currently without a fight and available to step in… utilizing his unique vernacular.
@ShogunRua I HEAR BRAZILIAN CHICKEN IS OFF THE MENU. AMERICAN GANGSTER IS STILL AVAILABLE IF YOU WANT TO SEND YOUR WAITRESS OVER.
— chael sonnen (@sonnench) June 3, 2013
UFC 161 is just two weeks away, so timing is critical, and the UFC could find it difficult to line up a suitable replacement outside of Sonnen in time to keep Shogun on the card.
UFC 161 has already suffered from injuries, losing its original main event, an interim bantamweight title fight between Renan Barão and Eddie Wineland.
Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson square off in a three-round light heavyweight fight in the UFC 161 headliner on June 15 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.