Chael Sonnen surprised many by submitting Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 on Saturday night in Boston.
Hardly anyone, however, could be counted as startled that he immediately took aim at Wanderlei Silva, calling out the former Pride FC champion following his victory.
“Wanderlei Silva, six feet tall and 205 pounds, boy, until I met you, I didn’t know they could stack crap that high,” he declared.
“Wanderlei Silva, three months, you and the bad guy.”
The funny thing is, now that Sonnen has defeated Shogun, proving that he is still a fighter to be contended with at the top of either the 205-pound or 185-pound division, everyone wants to fight him.
Vitor Belfort took to Twitter immediately after the fight and dissed on Sonnen for calling out Wanderlei.
“@sonnench don’t run from me. Why are u asking for wand? Let’s fight,” tweeted Belfort, adding, “Why u are asking for wand, u have to fight me. Lets do it @danawhite @lorenzofertitta”
A short time later, it was Lyoto Machida calling for the fight with Sonnen, while also taking a dig at Belfort.
“Since @vitorbelfort hasn’t accepted our fight, I am sure that @danawhite can match me against @sonnench,” he tweeted.
UFC president Dana White had tried to match Machida up with Belfort as the co-main event of UFC 167 in November, but he wanted the fight at middleweight, a weight where Belfort has currently declined to accept any fight outside of a title bout.
Sonnen calling out Wanderlei Silva and with Belfort and Machida both calling for a fight with Sonnen only exemplifies the options that White says Sonnen’s victory over Shogun opens up for him.
“Tonight changed a lot of things for Chael Sonnen,” said White. “He proved that he can beat one of the top guys in the top ten at 205 pounds. Does he want to stay there or does he want to go to 185?
“There are a lot of options for Chael. He can fight at 205 or he can fight at 185. The win over Shogun puts him in a great place at 205, and it puts him in a great place at 185.”