Fresh off his split-decision victory over Joey Beltran at UFC Fight Night 29, which went down last night (Oct. 9, 2013) in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil (recap here), the scrappy Brazilian took the mic during the post-fight press conference to challenge none other than former two-time No.1 middleweight contender Chael Sonnen to a light heavyweight fight.
As a back-up plan, the Brazilian bomber says he would also settle for a fight against heavy-hitting James Te Huna.
"Of course I'm serious. I would love to fight Chael Sonnen. I would like to fight James Te Huna. James Te Huna is a great striker and Chael, a lot of people think he would kill my game and that he would be able to tie me up, but I am very well-trained. I count on my friend (Demian Maia ) and all of his people and I can turn it around. It's hard for you to see my ju-jitsu. I know I'm injured, but I can turn it around. If it's James Te Huna, I can do well, also. I think he's (Sonnen) a good fighter and I think he is good for the sport, I'm his fan. He is good for the sport because he says a lot of truth. Of course, sometimes he crosses the line and some things I don't agree with him, but I think he is very good for the sport. I think a fighter can't be afraid to say things. You might not agree with what I'm saying, but, this is me, this is what it is going to be like."
While a fight against Sonnen is highly unlikely, at least right now, a more realistic option for Maldonado would be a scrap against Te Huna later on down the road.
For now, both Sonnen and Te Huna have bigger fish to fry as "The American Gangster" is lined up to take on Rashad Evans in the co-main event of UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada, while James has his hands full against Mauricio Rua at UFC Fight Night 33 on Dec. 7, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia.
Fabio's win over "The Mexicutioner" was his second straight, defeating Roger Hollett at UFC on FX 8 earlier this year. Prior to his current winning streak, Maldonado had dropped three straight, bringing his total record inside the Octagon to an even 3-3.
What's your opinion, Maniacs, who should Fabio get next? Can you appreciate his willingness to call out Sonnen, or is he biting off more than he can chew by picking a fight against "The American Gangster?"