"When I get a fight, when they call me and say 'Hey you wanna fight so and so?' The answer is yes, but, behind the scenes, I call my mom, I call my sister. I tell them what's going on. I call my brother-in-law in Clifton. I sit down with my coaches. Even if it's over the phone, we just have a quick 'Hey we wanna do this, right? We can come p with something and have success out there.' It was different with Brian. I drew his name out, I said 'Oh, gosh no!' I couldn't sleep. I went to Brian Stann. I never contact an opponent. Nobody contacts an opponent. That breaks every unwritten rule there is. I contacted Brian. I said 'Hey listen I can't sleep. I'm so bothered by this news and it caught me out of left field I don't know what to do here.' And Brian Stann wrote me back and he said 'Chael, yeah it did come out of nowhere, but, with all the things going on in the world today, us fighting for up to 15 minute just doesn't matter. It's just not a big deal.' Brian. That's a very private email, but I'm sharing it because of the message there. He's a leader, he's a leader of men. He's led men into battle. He's now leading his own opponent into battle. It's the right thing to do. It's what the company asks us to do. It's what the division needs. We're two of the top guys. I am the world champion. He is my number one contender. I'm going to defend my championship for the 1st time against Brian Stann. And I'm doing it because he told me it's the right thing to do. I think that's very interesting. I've never been in that spot before."
UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen, who refuses to acknowledge his fifth round submission loss to reigning division champion Anderson Silva nearly one year ago, prepares to defend his imaginary title against streaking 185-pound super-soldier Brian Stann at UFC 136: "Edgar vs. Maynard 3" from the Toyota Center on Oct. 8 in Houston, Texas. The "All American" has shown a softer side of Sonnen (via The Fight Fix), who usually hypes a fight with pot shots and trash talk. Anyone think the mouthy ex-Realtor is being genuine? Or is there something sinister afoot? And do either of these fighters qualify for a crack at the division gold with a win in "The Lone Star State?" Opinions, please.