Morning Report: Chael Sonnen staying at 205, turns attention towards Wanderlei Silva

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It didn't take long for Chael Sonnen to decide his fate.

"I'm not retiring," Sonnen declared on Tuesday's edition of UFC Tonight. "I'm 36 years old. I have a lot of goals and I'm not going to reach them if I retire."

Sonnen, of course, lost via first-round TKO to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones this past weekend at UFC 159, bumping his record in UFC title fights to a tepid 0-3. Nonetheless, "The American Gangster" isn't ready to call it quits.

"I don't have a lot of options at 185," he said. "I've fought everyone in the top 10, including the champion a couple of times. So I moved up to 205, but I lost to the champ and it wasn't a competitive enough match to warrant another chance.

"So what do I do?" Sonnen asked, then answered his own question, stating that he'll likely stay at 205 pounds or fight catchweight bouts, à la Rich Franklin.

"It was a lot better of an experience," he explained. "Not having to get the weight off. I'll give up the size, but have a smile on my face. I could be talked into going back down [to 185] if that's where the fights are. The landscape changes quickly. I think there will be a big shakeup on July 4th weekend when (Chris) Weidman gets his hands on Anderson (Silva)."

True to form, Sonnen then turned his sights toward his next target -- his old buddy Wanderlei Silva.

"Wanderlei called me out before, but the fight never made sense," Sonnen said. "Now it does. I'm not going anywhere until me and Wanderlei straighten this thing out once and for all."

Sonnen went on to explain.

"Wanderlei pulled a dirt bag move on me one time. He said something to me that I couldn't hear, and then put it on YouTube with subtitles because he knew I couldn't understand it and called me out.

"If you're a fighter, that doesn't fly," Sonnen concluded. "You must respond to him, and I'm ready to respond to you, Wanderlei."

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7 MUST-READ STORIES

Sonnen has words for Silva. Chael Sonnen took to UFC Tonight to announce intentions to remain active in the sport of mixed martial arts. Sonnen plans to continue fighting at 205 pounds or catchweight bouts, and appears to be laying the groundwork for a match-up against longtime rival Wanderlei Silva.

Spong pulled from WSOF 3. Kickboxing superstar Tyrone Spong has reportedly been pulled from his expected bout against Angel DeAnda at WSOF 3 due to visa issues.

UFC 159 salaries. Michael Bisping led the reported payroll for UFC 159, pocketing $425,000 for his decision victory over Alan Belcher. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones took home $400,000 for his title defense, while challenger Chael Sonnen earned $50,000 in the loss.

Maia-Koscheck. A welterweight bout pitting top contender Demian Maia against loser of his last two, Josh Koscheck, is being targeted for UFC 163, for some reason.

Gonzaga won't appeal loss. Nevada State Athletic Commission officials denied Gabriel Gonzaga's appeal of his first-round TKO loss to Travis Browne at April's TUF 17 Finale, according to Gonzaga's manager.

UFC on FOX 7 drug tests. All six post-fight drug tests at UFC on FOX 7 came back clean, the California State Athletic Commission revealed on Tuesday. UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez were tested, along with co-headliners Daniel Cormier and Frank Mir, plus two additional unidentified fighters.

WSOF signs Griffin. UFC veteran Tyson Griffin inked a multi-fight deal with World Series of Fighting. The 29-year-old hopes to fight on WSOF's August card.

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MEDIA STEW

This is awesome. Nothing much else to say.

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Yes, this is Vitor Belfort. No, I don't know why he filmed this. And no, I don't know what that thing is stapled to the back of his head.

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This poor guy. All he wanted to do was fight this other guy, and yet somehow he gets his eye superglued shut by his own cornerman. Poor, poor guy. (For the lazy, jump to 14:55.)

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Okay, once again Pancrase champ Rin Nakai released a bizarre "training" video, and once again she looks like she absolutely doesn't want to be there. What's going on here? (Totally NSFW.)

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Born in the USA: Making drunk fools fight since 1984.

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You just knew the guys over at Epic Deli couldn't resist crafting another heart-attack-of-a-sandwich in honor of the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion.

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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WANDERLEI'S RESPONSE

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THE NEXT MAJOR MMA SPONSOR?

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ADD IT TO THE COLLECTION

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NEW OPPORTUNITY

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PAT & ROSE

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SAY IT AIN'T SO

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WHO'S EXCITED?

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BELIEVE IT

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Tuesday, April 30, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day sees sklart tell you: 5 reasons why Jon Jones will end up being the greatest MMA fighter of all time.

Disclaimer: I am an Anderson Silva fanboy.

While age is sometimes just a number, there are significant studies that show that performance relative to age is an accurate way to predict the career paths of some people. I believe MMA is - with some exceptions - a sport where age is totally relative to success. With that in mind, 5 reasons why JBJ will be the best ever when his career is all said and done.

1. HE IS ONLY 25.

Just let that sit in for a second. Research has shown that an athlete's prime age is 26. Jon is 25. He is already considered one of the best LHW's of all time...at the age of 25. He is talking about going up to HW - something almost unheard of...and no one is even blinking an eyelash at it. If you look at him from fight to fight, his physical body has changed as well which I credit to his age once again. Jon has at least 10 years left of fighting in him and could reach a Prime Fedor like status should he continue to progress the way he has....

2. HE ACTUALLY DOES GET BETTER EVERY TIME HE FIGHTS.

Unlike some (most) fighters, Jon actually does get better every time we see him. He is a killer of men. He destroys people like Tim Burke does with trolls. It's amazing to watch and is only going to be something that gets more amazing every time we see him. ...

3. HE FIGHTS BIG NAMES.

Look at his resume, it speaks for itself. Fight after fight of top ten names, former champions, and he finishes them.....

4. HE FINISHES FIGHTS.

Everyone complains about non-finishers, but Jon gives you what you came for. 11 of his last 12 opponents finished (and ya, I'm counting Matt Hamill as a finish for Jon because he f--ked him up from the Judo throw even before the elbows came down TAKETHATMAZZAGATTI). Not only that, but he is finishing guys who have never been finished before. Choking out Rampage, making Shogun tap to strikes, dropping an out-cold Machida like a bag of bricks...its just awesome every time he fights.

5. DID I MENTION HE IS ONLY 25?

I hate to repeat my point, but I can't stress it enough. Jon is so young its crazy. He really is a once a lifetime talent, and we are lucky to be able to witness his entire career. If Anderson Silva is Michael Jordan, Jon Jones is LeBron James.

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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