Chael Sonnen will compete in one of the biggest fights of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career tomorrow night (Sat., Oct. 13, 2018) at Bellator 208 in Uniondale, New York, when he take on heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko.
The main event bout will serve as the second semi-final matchup of Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament.
If Sonnen is able to move up from light heavyweight and defeat Fedor this weekend he will face the winner of Matt Mitrione vs. Ryan Bader, which will take place tonight (Fri., Oct. 12, 2018) at Bellator 207. Should Sonnen and Bader both win, it would mean two former light heavyweights ran through a tournament of the best heavyweights Bellator has to offer.
Mitrione believes such a scenario would completely discredit the roster. Sonnen, who could quickly throw a wrench into the heavyweight system, agrees with his tournament counterpart.
“I think it discredits all the heavyweights completely,” Sonnen told MMAjunkie earlier this week. “The best thing to do with heavyweights is to keep them the hell from any other weight class. They’re the worst athletes in the room. They’re the slowest guys in the room. They’re the laziest guys in the room – which is why they weigh so goddamn much.
“If you want to keep the mystique going on to the public that size matters and that the big guys are better, just because they’re bigger, if you want to keep that false narrative out there, keep us real athletes away from the heavyweights. I think (the grand prix) was a risky move. They tried it on the other side of the tracks, and a light heavyweight now has that strap, too. Heavyweights suck, Mitrione is right.”
Sonnen, who made a name fort himself fighting Anderson Silva twice for the UFC middleweight title so many years ago, made his heavyweight debut earlier this year in a unanimous decision win over Quinton Jackson. It was a fight in which Sonnen utilized his wrestling and quickness to control “Rampage” and win on the judges’ scorecards.
Only time will tell if “American Gangster” can do the same to Fedor this weekend at Nassau Coliseum. Should Sonnen accomplish such a feat it will only aid his and Mitrione’s belief that this Bellator tournament could spell disaster for the heavyweight division.
Stick with Mania for complete Bellator 208 results and coverage.