Chael Sonnen Issues Challenge to Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua

Hunter HomistekCorrespondent IJune 3, 2013

Apr 26, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Chael Sonnen (right) is interviewed by Joe Rogan after being weighed in for his light heavyweight title bout against Jon Jones (not pictured) at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chael Sonnen never relents. 

After Antonio Rogerio Nogueira pulled out of his UFC 161 matchup against Maurcio "Shogun" Rua, via Ariel Helwani, h/t Bloody Elbow, fight fans and critics alike channeled their inner Joe Silva and attempted to predict possible replacement opponents to save the fight. 

Wanderlei Silva makes sense, but he is a close friend (not the picture you expected, eh?) of Shogun's. 

Ryan Jimmo, who is set to fight on the UFC 161 preliminary card on FX, also seems like a decent replacement and should be well-tuned for battle, but he boasts a meager 1-1 record inside the Octagon and his name does not carry the heft of Nogueira. 

Who, oh who could save the day? 

Can you hear the rockets ignite as the Star Spangled Banner begins? What beautiful music. 

Chael Sonnen has arrived, and he has something to say. 

Taking to his favorite trash-talking, deal-drafting forum, Twitter, Sonnen penned this gem, aimed directly at Mr. Shogun. 

It seems clear Sonnen is prepared to fill in for Nogueira and save the co-main event of the evening, and the UFC would undoubtedly agree to the bout should Shogun accept. 

Sonnen is guaranteed to plant butts in seats—live and at home—and the promotion cannot afford to argue logistics at this point (not that they ever do when it comes to Sonnen, but I digress).

Should Shogun accept, this fight is all kinds of intriguing. Each man badly needs a win, and each has a distinct advantage in a major facet of the sport. 

For Sonnen, the advantage (as usual) lies in his stellar wrestling and top control. Shogun has shown exceptional ground skills throughout his career, but there is little doubt that Sonnen possesses the upper hand should the fight turn into a grappling match. 

Shogun, however, can deliver Sonnen his third straight loss by utilizing his exceptional Muay Thai attack. As is well documented, Shogun hits hard—very hard—and Sonnen does not particularly enjoy getting smashed in the face (see: Silva, Anderson or Jones, Jon). 

While Sonnen's tweet does not confirm anything at this point, this is a raging blip on every MMA fan's radar, and the UFC needs to make a decision with UFC 161 rapidly approaching on June 15. 

What do you think, Bleacher Report faithful? Will Sonnen talk his way into a high-profile matchup again, or has he exhausted his "gimmes?" 


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