As expected, the self-proclaimed "Gangster from West Linn, Oregon" will return to the Light Heavyweight division after failing twice to unseat the dominant 185-pound incumbent, Anderson Silva, from his lofty championship perch. However, Sonnen won't be stepping inside the Octagon for a teased (and juicy) showdown with former 205-pound division champion, Rashad Evans, but rather another fighter who has, albeit briefly, held the top spot:
Sonnen announced earlier this evening on FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" that he has agreed to fight Griffin on the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's annual year-end fight card, which is expected to be UFC 155 on Dec. 29, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The pay-per-view (PPV) event is unofficial at this time, but rest assured it will be happening. And the main event will feature a heavyweight championship rematch between Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez, along with hopefully many other mouth-watering match ups.
Match ups that hopefully don't mirror the second-best Middleweight fighter in the world taking on a fading star from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) franchise that UFC President Dana White has publicly (and recently) suggested retire from the sport after committing "professional suicide," making an ass out of himself (again) at UFC 148.
That's right, just before Silva finished Sonnen in the second round of their main event rematch just last month, Griffin was running from the cage after his trilogy bout, the co-featured fight of the evening, with Tito Ortiz ended. He returned, was announced the winner -- much to his surprise -- and then conducted a classless final interview with "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" on his retirement night.
Insert McKayla Maroney face here.
Perhaps the silver lining in all of this is that Griffin actually owns a win over Sonnen, a submission (triangle choke) at an obscure IFC: "Global Domination" event that took place in Denver back in 2003. He broke it all down for his co-host on FUEL TV, Kenny Florian:
"... many years ago I fought with a gentleman and I lost. I became a fan of him, I saw him win a championship, I saw him etch his name in stone as a Hall of Famer, he is the one guy Jon Jones hasn't beat. And, on December 29th, Forrest Griffin and I will figure this out. Now, my friend beat me, but we are going to do this again. Tickets are not on sale yet, but it will happen. That fight will be at light heavyweight. There is something to be said about earning your spot in the sport and on December 29th, I am going to do that."
Payback is a bitch.