UFC Fight Night 26 results: Chael Sonnen vs Wanderlei Silva must happen (at any weight class)

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

With neither fighter vying for a UFC title, and three different weight classes to accommodate them, there is no reason why Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva should not be booked for December.

It's the fight that books itself.

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight number one contender, Chael Sonnen, got back into the win column -- as a light heavyweight -- by tapping out Mauricio Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26, which took place on FOX Sports 1 from the TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 17, 2013.

Yes, Chael subbed a Brazilian.

With the win, the part-time FUEL TV analyst put himself in a position to make demands. At the top of his hit list is Wanderlei Silva, who like Sonnen, abandoned the 185-pound weight class to prolong his career as a 30-something mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.

But if he's looking to go back to middleweight, Sonnen can easily follow.

Unlike Vitor Belfort's request to compete for gold, this isn't the kind of match-up that requires benching any of the top contenders. Sonnen was handily defeated by both Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, effectively eliminating himself from the title picture for the foreseeable future.

Wandy hasn't won back-to-back fights in over seven years.

The good news is, both fighters are still marketable athletes. Sonnen has the gift of gab, and outside of title fights, is a very tough out inside the Octagon. Silva is a beloved combatant from his "Axe Murderer" days in PRIDE, and still knows how to put on a show when asked (see Stann, Brian).

That's not all.

The Brazilian is a close friend of "Shogun" and has been since the Chute Boxe days. When Mark Coleman blew a gasket at PRIDE 31 and turned the ring into a mosh pit, Silva was the first man through the ropes (behind "Ninja"), ready to rumble.

Watching Rua tap -- to Sonnen of all people -- had to be painful.

From a booking perspective, this fight has been brewing for over three years, when "The American Gangster" first referred to the Brazilian as a "walking punchline." Sonnen most recently chastised him for pulling a "dirtbag move," and promised that Wandy was "next" after he disposed of "Shogun."

Silva's response? "Fuck you."

If everything goes according to plan, Silva will return to the cage in December. His "dream fight" against Sonnen would take place in Brazil (find out why here), but I don't think it would take much persuading to get him to join a Las Vegas fight card after the events that transpired in "Beantown."

But does the fight take place at 185, 205, or a catchweight of 195?

As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter, as long as the fight takes place. None of the three weights available would put either fighter at a disadvantage and I'm not sure it would make much of a difference in how you promote it. Speaking of which, the amount of trash talk leading up to this grudge match would be epic.

But perhaps not as epic as the staredown at the weigh ins.

Joe Silva, where you at?

For more on Sonnen's win over Rua, check out our complete UFC Fight Night 26 live results post here. Highlights, videos, reactions and more can be unearthed in our live story stream by clicking here.

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