Photo by Tracy Lee via Yahoo! Sports
That's because the number one contender to the middleweight championship will put that distinction on the line when he battles Mark Munoz at UFC on Fox 2 on Jan. 28 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
MMAmania.com was able to confirm the pending bout with sources close to the contest.
Sonnen recently ran through Brian Stann in what may or may not have been a title eliminator fight back at UFC 136 on Oct. 8 in Houston. If it wasn't, he made it one by boldly calling out Silva and challenging him to a rematch of their epic Aug. 7, 2010 encounter in Oakland.
UFC President Dana White said he would be "stupid" not to make the fight but a pesky shoulder injury is reportedly going to keep "The Spider" on the shelf until June, when the world's largest fight promotion heads back to Brazil.
If Sonnen can get by Munoz and make a good impression on network TV, he'll be joining his arch nemesis in his home country.
Standing in the way of this dream scenario is streaking middleweight masher Mark Munoz, who is coming off the biggest win of his career in the main event of UFC 138 across the pond, a second round stoppage victory over Chris Leben.
That win marked his fourth in a row and seventh in his last eight fights. If that's not good enough to earn a number one contender bout, I don't know what is.
But is "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" good enough to best the consensus number two 185-pound fighter in the world?
We shall see.
UFC on FOX 2 is all set to pop off from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and marks the promotion's second foray into the world of nextwork television. This event will be different from the first in that four fights are expected for the main card, with the broadcast running for two hours.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for word on the other three fights that will make the air.