UFC superstar Chael Sonnen was bound and determined to be a part of UFC 167 in November, and he has been granted his wish as former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans has accepted his challenge. “Suga” is also coming off a victory as he bested Dan Henderson by decision at UFC 161. Both competitors are ranked in the top 10 of the 205-pound division, and with both being household names to UFC fans, it adds more star power to an already enticing card.
Sonnen had initially called out Wanderlei Silva after his recent first-round submission of Mauricio Rua at Fight Night 26, but that highly-anticipated grudge match fell through as Silva won’t be ready to go due to health reasons until 2014. Other possible options like Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida also evaporated as they were booked into other fights. So Sonnen, who wanted on the UFC’s 20th anniversary card, began sending friendly tweets to his FOX Sports broadcasting colleague to see if he was up to it. With Evans’ verbal acceptance, the fight has been slotted in as the co-main event for the highly-anticipated Las Vegas event.
The event will be headlined by a welterweight title defense by champion Georges St.Pierre against challenger Johny Hendricks. There’s also solid action at 170 pounds with Rory MacDonald against Robbie Lawler and Josh Koscheck tangling with Tyron Woodley.
It’s doubtful we will see Sonnen go into trash-talking mode against Evans. The UFC’s “Bad Guy” was highly respectful of Rua going into their bout because of “Shogun’s” legendary career, and as mentioned, Sonnen and Evans have a very cordial relationship. However, both are now willing to put their friendship aside and will look to put on a show Nov. 16 in what shapes up as a very important fight for both.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.