Thanks to Chael Sonnen's "fight anyone, anytime" mentality, the UFC on Fox Sports 1 1 card now has a main event with "The American Gangster" set to take on Mauricio Rua at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 17, 2013.
The fight, however, came to fruition because of a bevy of unfortunate circumstances. "Shogun" was set to rematch Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 161 on June 15, 2013, but "Lil Nog" was forced off the card with an injury. After Sonnen's visa issues prevented him from entering Canada to take on Rua as a late replacement, UFC officials decided to pull the fight altogether and book it for a later date.
That's not all.
Sonnen recentSBN coverage of ONE FC 9: Rise to Powerly declared that he had no choice but to call out "Shogun" -- a Brazilian fighter he actually "likes" -- after he couldn't get a fight for which he had been lobbied against Wanderlei Silva.
So, the next best thing was to take on the guy who used to "destroy" "The Axe Murderer" during their legendary training session at Chute Boxe Academy in Brazil.
His words (via "UFC Tonight"):
"I went after Wanderlei and I was quite candid, I went after Wanderlei because he's the worst guy I could find, record-wise. He's the worst fighter in the UFC. I know what you're thinking. ‘What about ‘Crocop?'' You're right, ‘CroCop' was terrible, but, Wanderlei's record was actually a bit worse. I couldn't get Wanderlei, so I said, ‘Why don't I fight the guy that destroyed Wanderlei for years in the practice room?' And that brings us to ‘Shogun.' I like ‘Shogun.' I have nothing against ‘Shogun,' this is just good solid competition. But, Wanderlei did this to you ‘Shogun.'"
While those claims aren't exactly proven, Sonnen, for one, is adamant he is fighting the better mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter when he heads to "Beantown" this Fall.
"The American Gangster" is currently on a two fight skid, losing to current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva at UFC 148 and most recently getting mauled by UFC Light Heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones at UFC 159.
While many expected Sonnen to hang them up after two consecutive title fight defeats, the rabble-rousing Republican decided to hang around for a few more fights.
Trying to get over the hump and back into the win column won't be easy for Sonnen because Rua is motivated to get back on track after dropping a unanimous decision to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fox 5 in Dec. 2012.
And he's brought out the big guns to help him do just that.