TUALATIN, OR - JUNE 26: Chael Sonnen conducts a workout at the Team Quest gym on June 26, 2012 in Tualatin, Oregon. Sonnen will fight Anderson Silva July 7, 2012 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Chael Sonnen, ladies and gentlemen.
The former middleweight number one contender, who lost the opportunity to challenge for the light heavyweight title when Jon Jones balked at their proposed match-up, may still earn his shot at "Bones," despite the fact that Vitor Belfort is next in line for a crack at the crown.
Because "The Phenom" will never make it to Toronto.
That's according to Sonnen, who claims the Brazilian's long history of pulling out of high-profile fights will leave Jones without an opponent (again) for the UFC 152 main event, which goes down on Sept. 22, 2012, from the Air Canada Center in Ontario.
"I’ve got an agreement to fight a gentleman named Forrest Griffin on December 29th but I don’t know. Jon Jones has a date on September 22nd and right now he’s fighting Vitor Belfort. Vitor never shows up, Vitor has pulled out of way more fights than he has ever shown up for so if I had to guess you’ll be seeing me fight Jon Jones on September 22nd. If I was to tell Jon Jones something, I would tell him I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. Good news Jon the first punch that I throw at you might not land. The bad news is there are going to be five more coming right after it."
Sonnen is expected to make his light heavyweight debut at UFC 155 later this year after getting chased out of the middleweight class by reigning division kingpin, Anderson Silva. His last trip up to 205 pounds ended abysmally, thanks to a second round submission loss to Renato Sobral at UFC 55 nearly seven years ago.
Which is how he lost to Griffin two years prior to that.
None of that would matter if he goes to the head of the class next month in Toronto, but does anyone really believe that after everything the promotion has been through in the last week, Belfort will still find a way to bow out?
Or is Sonnen just keeping himself in the headlines?