Chael Sonnen will return to the middleweight division following his upcoming light heavyweight clash with Mauricio Rua.
The former three-time UFC title contender announced his decision on Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on Fuel TV. Sonnen is slated to headline the UFC’s Aug. 17 debut on Fox Sports 1, which takes place at TD Garden in Boston.
“I’ll return to middleweight after beating ‘Shogun,’” Sonnen said. “There are two guys I want to get matched up with: Vitor Belfort, because he’s awesome and he’s on an incredible roll, and Wanderlei Silva, who I’ve heard is going back to middleweight. The landscape has completely changed. I’ve got a new contract and I’m returning to the weight class.”
The longtime member of Oregon’s Team Quest also announced a change in location and camp.
“I’ve moved to southern California and am training at Reign with Mark Munoz,” Sonnen said. “My new contract, which is a five-fight deal, was finalized today.”
Sonnen, 36, challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight crown in 2010 and 2012, coming up short on both occasions. Following his second loss to “The Spider,” Sonnen returned to the light heavyweight division for the first time in more than seven years when he unsuccessfully challenged 205-pound king Jon Jones at UFC 159 this past April.