MMA veteran Chael Sonnen will be making his long awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 136, set to be held on October 8th, in Houston, Texas. The former number one contender in the UFC’s middleweight division will be making his return against the “All American,” Brian Stann.
For Sonnen, it will be his first appearance inside the Octagon since his title fight against current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen quickly became a fan favorite after his impressive performance against Silva, but returned to his role as a villain in the sport of MMA, when it was announced he had failed a post-fight drug test after fighting Anderson.
Sonnen’s reluctance to own up to his actions, made things worse for the MMA fighter. Tired of Sonnen’s antics, the California State Athletic Commission eventually suspended Chael’s license indefinitely. With his MMA license expiring at the end of June, Sonnen is now free to apply for a new license.
While I understand Sonnen is good for the UFC’s financial statements, I feel obligated to point out the double-standards practiced by the world’s leading MMA promotion. Nate Marquardt was recently released by the UFC for failing a pre-fight test, yet the UFC stands firmly behind Sonnen (PED’s, felony conviction, and compulsive lying).
It will be interesting to see what Sonnen looks like when he steps into the Octagon against Brian Stann. Stann is a heavy-handed MMA fighter that doesn’t hold back inside the Cage. Sonnen’s only chance against Stann will be to take him down and keep him there.
Given that Sonnen hasn’t fought in the UFC for over a year, getting past Stann won’t be as easy as some MMA fans might think. While I initially gave Sonnen credit for his performance against Anderson Silva at UFC 117, the reality is that he still wasn’t good enough to win the middleweight belt; even with an unfair advantage.