Despite continued promises from UFC President Dana White that the winner of Chael Sonnen’s scrap on Saturday night with Michael Bisping will be next in line for middleweight champion Anderson Silva it seems as though Sonnen remains convinced his next fight will involve a different opponent.
While it’s obviously hard to gauge the truth behind Sonnen’s words based on his love of toying with media, the outspoken 185er has recently come out reinforcing earlier statements he’d made pertaining to Georges St. Pierre and Jon Jones. Were that not enough, he’s now offered up an opinion saying he sees Silva’s retirement as being more likely than a defense of his title in 2012.
“I can tell you that behind the scenes, they tried to put me and Anderson together four times, and four times he said no. I called him out publicly. You call out a Brazilian publicly, you’re going to be fighting that Brazilian. That’s in their culture,” said Sonnen in an interview with FX. “And he sat there and covered his mouth and hid behind Charles Barkley, which is a smart move. It saved him a trip to the hospital. But Anderson Silva is not going to fight me. I don’t believe he’s going to fight Bisping. I don’t believe he’s going to fight again. That’s my personal opinion.”
Silva has not indicated anything resembling an interest in retirement, even coming out in late 2011 to say he planned to fight until 40 if possible instead of hanging his gloves up in a year or so as had been originally believed. After this weekend’s bout between the two middleweight contenders on FOX the picture should be a bit clearer but until then it looks like Sonnen’s soured stance on Silva remains the same.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC