Despite his best efforts, recently drawing the ire of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, UFC President Dana White has said that Chael Sonnen is nowhere near title contention as he is about to enter the promotion’s 205 lb. division.
Sonnen (27-12) will be returning to light heavyweight division after spending seven years as a middleweight. A consensus number-two to Anderson Silva in the 185 lb. division, Sonnen’s second loss to the champion and pound-for-pound king has prompted “The American Gangster” to return to light heavyweight. He will now meet Forrest Griffin at UFC 155 in a rematch of their 2003 bout on the regional circuit, which saw the original Ultimate Fighter champion submit the wrestler.
It seems the bombastic fighter from “the mean streets of West Linn, Oregon,” will have to log some time in the 205 lb. division to have his shot at the gold. White spoke on Sonnen’s title aspirations on the Dave & Mahoney show on X107.5 FM in Las Vegas earlier today:
“He’s a long way away. He’s not coming off the Anderson Silva fight and just talking his way into a 205-pound world title shot. He’s going to have to beat a couple of the best in the world. If he beats Forrest Griffin, we’ll shoot him right into the top 5, let him fight some of those guys there and we’ll see what happens.”
Where exactly Sonnen and his gift of gab fit in the UFC light heavyweight division remains to be seen, but if the Olympic alternate can replicate his success at middleweight, he may find himself in position for a title bout by the end of 2013.