It appears Chael Sonnen won’t have to wait long to get another crack at upsetting middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
With his impressive performance — even in defeat — in the main event of UFC 117, Sonnen will likely be Silva’s next opponent, UFC president Dana White announced Tuesday on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Silva is currently suffering from bruised ribs sustained in his Aug. 7 bout against Sonnen, but UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta told the Los Angeles Times the fight will happen once he’s recovered.
“Bruised ribs can be more painful than broken, but we’ll wait for him to heal, and that fight will happen,” Fertitta said.
A date has not yet been announced but is expected to be later this year or early next year.
After endlessly hyping their first meeting earlier this month and saying he would manhandle the elusive champion, Sonnen backed up the talk and dominated Silva for four-plus rounds before making a costly mistake and getting caught in a triangle. Afterward Sonnen said that he would love to have a rematch and believed he was still the No. 1 contender, but that the UFC didn’t owe him anything.
Many fans called for a rematch, but White had been noncommittal following the bout. Vitor Belfort, who had previously been set to challenge Silva before being sidelined by injury, was also in the picture. Belfort is expected to fight an opponent yet to be named in November.