Chael Sonnen signs five-fight contract extension, plans Middleweight return after Shogun Rua fight

USA TODAY Sports

Former two-division title challenger Chael Sonnen has changed training camps and re-upped his contract with the UFC for five more fights ahead of his UFC on FOX Sports 1 clash with Mauricio Rua next month.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight Chael Sonnen has committed to at least five more fights with the organization in the form of a new contract and will also have a new training camp to call home prior to his Aug. 17, 2013 showdown with Mauricio Rua as the Oregon native has moved to Reign Training Center.

Sonnen (27-13-1) confirmed both pieces of news on Tuesday's (July 23, 2013) edition of FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight," also stating he got a brand new Ram pickup truck as part of the new deal.

The 36-year-old stated in an interview earlier this year that he never had a contract to face Anderson Silva and Jon Jones in his 205-pound and 185-pound championship fights for the UFC.

While that was never confirmed, Sonnen announced once again at the UFC Fan Expo in July that he still didn't have a deal with the world's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization just a few weeks out from a main event fight against Mauricio Rua at the UFC on FOX Sports 1 debut event in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sonnen shared a list of demands for his new contract, and while he clearly didn't get everything he asked for, it's there's a good chance the deal is a good one given Sonnen's rise in popularity in recent years and ability to sell a fight as well as anyone out there.

That's not all, though.

According to Sonnen, he will return to the middleweight division following his fight with "Shogun," regardless of the outcome.

In the past Sonnen explained he had no interest in dropping back to middleweight; however, the switch to Reign Training Center in California alongside the likes of Mark Munoz and Jake Ellenberger has seemingly renewed Sonnen's motivation and he has his sights set on a match ups with Brazilian rivals Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva.

For now, Sonnen is entirely focused on a dangerous former champion in Rua and will need to earn a victory in order to avoid a three-fight losing streak.

For more news and notes on the UFC on FOX Sports 1 debut event, visit our complete archive here.

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