Former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) number one middleweight contender Chael Sonnen (21-10-1) will once again attempt to get things going inside the Octagon when he battles American Top Team (ATT) standout, Wilson Gouveia (12-6), in a 185-pound affair set for UFC 102 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore., on August 29, according to MMAWeekly.com.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Sonnen, who was born and bred in "The Beaver State" and has trained at the local area training camp, Team Quest, for years. He will attempt to rebound from a quick first round submission loss (triangle choke) to Brazilian jiu-jitsu powerhouse, Demian Maia, at UFC 95 earlier this year.
The bout marked his third UFC appearance – he lost to Jeremy Horn via submission (armbar) at UFC 60: "Hughes vs. Gracie" back in 2006 and outpointed Trevor Prangley on all three judges scorecards at Ultimate Fight Night 4 that same year.
Prior to the loss to Maia, Sonnen handed a dazed and confused Paulo Filho -- who was widely regarded as the second-best middleweight fighter in the world before encountering major personal issues -- his first career loss at WEC 37 on November 5.
Sonnen is a very strong wrestler who has been able to refine his all-around game throughout his career. However, more than half of his career losses have come via submission, which makes it very important for him to be as careful as possible against a talented ground fighter such as Gouveia.
Gouveia is also coming off a disappointing loss – Nate Marquardt went bananas on him in the third round of their fight at UFC 95, unleashing a sensational barrage of strikes from all different angles for which he had no answer.
It was a bout that could have propelled him to the front of the division title contender pack, which has all of a sudden become a rather crowded place. However, it just wasn’t meant to be … for now.
Gouveia recently notched a submission win (armbar) over late replacement Ryan Jensen at UFC Fight Night 15 in his divisional debut back in September. He also smashed Jason MacDonald with vicious elbows at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 Finale to score an impressive first round technical knockout in Dec. 2008.
This will mark the fourth fight for Gouveia at middleweight. And with losses to top division players such as Marquardt and Goran Reljic, he will need to prove that he can hang with the big dogs when he collides with Sonnen in late August.
UFC 102 is expected to feature one of the sport’s biggest stars — and local-area product — former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, locking horns with former Pride FC and UFC interim heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira.
To check out the latest UFC 102 fight card and rumors click here.