While Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen recently stated he did not have a signed bout agreement for his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 148 in July 2012, that claim has now been confirmed as false.
Sonnen was recently a guest on "The Steve Austin Show" where he stated his UFC contract expired four months ago. Moreover, the Oregon native told the host, former WWE superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin, that he never signed to face Silva for the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 148 and hasn't signed a bout agreement for his upcoming fight with Jon Jones at UFC 159.
Many took Sonnen's comments with a grain of salt, and our friends over at Bloody Elbow have dug into the story and ensured that at least one-third of the 35-year-old's comments were inaccurate.
From a report by Brent Brookhouse, managing editor of Bloody Elbow, who spoke to Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) executive director Keith Kizer.
I contacted Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission who verified that a bout agreement was filed with the commission for the fight.
Sonnen could have simply been exaggerating (lying) to make it seem like he never signed anything when the NSAC bout agreement is absolutely by every measure a contract. Maybe he doesn't have an active multi-bout contract with the UFC and he was simply trying to extend that because...well, that's what Sonnen does.
New Jersey will be collecting signed bout agreements next Wednesday for UFC 159, so an agreement will be on file at that point for Chael's fight with Jon Jones.
Part two of Sonnen's claims should be dispelled in the coming days as UFC 159 approaches, while the official status of his contract with the world's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization remains unknown at this time. If he has a scheduled fight with Jones, though, that must mean there it at least one bout left on his current deal.
That closes the book on this latest tale from Sonnen. It wouldn't be the first time he embellished a story to grab the interest of the media, and it certainly won't be the last, either.
For more news and notes on UFC 159, check out our complete event archive here.