Chael Sonnen vs. Forrest Griffin II Set to Take Place on December 29
The UFC's most brash fighter to date, Chael Sonnen, announced yesterday on Fuel TV's UFC Tonight that he would be moving up to light heavyweight to take on former champion Forrest Griffin.
While the fight may not make sense to many, the two competitors have already done battle with each other once before.
Before the two fighters were household names, before mixed martial arts and the UFC had gone mainstream, and before Forrest Griffin found himself going toe-to-toe with Stephan Bonnar in one of the most important matches in UFC history, Sonnen and Griffin would meet at IFC Global Domination in September 2003.
Both fighters were up-and-coming at the time. Coming into that fight Sonnen had a professional record of 6-1-1 and Griffin boasted a near perfect 7-1.
Sonnen took Griffin down right out the gate and immediately began working his trademarked ground and pound technique. However, Sonnen's Achille's Heal, the triangle choke is what did him in. The fight ended in the first round when Sonnen tapped out due to the submission.
Nearly 10 years later the two fighters will meet once again.
"Sure I could go up to 205 and I could take Jon Jones' belt away the same as I could take his candy on Halloween. He's a little punk kid, I could snatch it away all I want, but there's something to be said in sportsmanship for earning your shot, and on the 29th of December, I'm going to go through Forrest to do it," Sonnen said.
Sonnen is coming off a TKO loss in the most storied rivalry in UFC history when he was defeated at the hands of the greatest fighter on the planet, Anderson Silva.
Two losses to the champion have forced Sonnen to reconsider his path to the middleweight title. The Oregon native had decided to move up to light heavyweight, often calling out current champion Jon "Bones" Jones.
Jones however will defend his title against Sonnen's longtime friend and training partner, Dan Henderson on September 1.
Griffin coming off a decision win in his rubber match with UFC Hall of Famer, Tito Ortiz, is also at a crossroads in his career. Should he drop the fight to Sonnen on Dec. 29 when the two fighters will co-headline the UFC's last pay-per-view attraction of the year, it may be time for Griffin to hang up his gloves.
The Dec. 29 card will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between champion Junior Dos Santos and former champion Cain Velasquez. Dos Santos claimed the title at the first ever UFC on Fox event in November 2011 when he defeated Velasquez in their first outing.
Photo courtesy mmaweekly.com