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Morning Report: Scott Coker targeting Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva for next summer

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With Chael Sonnen's return to MMA, Bellator MMA is looking to to put together a long awaited fight next summer.

esther lin

Maybe the fourth time is the charm.

One month ago, Chael Sonnen created minor waves in the MMA world when, upon returning from his two-year suspension, he opted to leave the UFC and sign with rival promotion Bellator. While at age 39, Sonnen is likely past his prime, he is still one of the biggest draws in UFC history and arguably the most significant acquisition Bellator has landed so far.

Sonnen signing with Bellator immediately opened the door to many interesting fights across multiple divisions including a light heavyweight contest with former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, which figures to happen later this year. But the biggest fight that everyone has been talking about is with another UFC castoff, Wanderlei SilvaSpeaking with FloCombat recently, Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said that he is looking at making that fight happen, probably next summer.

"We've have a contract with Wanderlei Silva even before Rizin ever got him on board. With the contract we have with him, he won't be able to fight for us until he is cleared with NSAC. I think in May he will be cleared to compete for Bellator.

"Since Bellator contracted Chael Sonnen, believe me, we've been getting texts and calls from Wanderlei saying that he wants that fight. So, I think you'll see that fight some time in 2017 for Bellator...It's very difficult to pinpoint exactly when we can put it on, it's kind of a moving target in a way, but I think some time in the summer for sure."

This fight has been planned for three previous UFC events; first at UFC 173, then moved back to The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale, and finally moved back to UFC 175 before the fight was ultimately scrapped when Silva refused to undergo a random drug test and, separately, Sonnen failed a random drug test. Sonnen retired from MMA for the last two years while he served his suspension. Silva was released by the UFC and signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator.

Silva's Bellator contract has flexibility though and he recently made an appearance at Rizin FF to set up a third fight with Mirko Cro Cop which is scheduled for the Rizin FF Grand Prix quarterfinals on Dec. 29. If Silva wins, his continued progression in the Grand Prix could push back Coker's timeline. But if Silva loses the three-match with Cro Cop, the former Pride FC middleweight champion can look to settle his unfinished business with Sonnen.

"Wanderlei is still pissed about what happened between them and he wants that fight. It's something personal for him. Honestly, I don't really know what happened to make him that compelled to fight Chael, but I can tell you that he is not happy with what happened between them.

"With Chael, he's down to fight anybody on any given day. It's going to be something that we'll try and map out when we sit down with both guys at the beginning of next year."

Sonnen and Silva have been circling each other for a long time. Even before they were booked as coaches on TUF Brazil 3 and their infamous in-show brawl, Sonnen and Silva had been taking shots at each other through the media for years. And while both men will be in their 40's next summer, the aging-veteran-with-name-value legends fights  are right inside Coker's wheelhouse and this one in particular is one he believes will do well.

"That's going to be a fight where everybody stops whatever they're doing to turn on the TV to see the fight. As we all know, that fight has been building for a number of years and they couldn't work it out, but now I feel the timing is perfect."

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MUST-READ STORIES

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Not gonna happen. Cris Cyborg wants a fight with Rousey in Brazil after Rousey faces Nunes.

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MEDIA STEW

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LISTEN UP

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Jack Slack

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JBS

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TWEETS

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She's back.

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Ain't happy.

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Fighting ain't no joke.

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Ragin' Al wasn't bluffing about quitting.

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Good for Sholler.

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Pena walking away has gotta be good for Shevchenko

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Get your Google translate for this. Cyborg going in.

Por que a minha luta com @RondaRousey nunca podera acontecer. Acabei de chegar à Tailândia para o meu primeiro treinamento Internacional PinkBelt para mulheres sera realizada na academia @phukettopteam, e parece que esta sendo anunciado na internet Ronda Rousey Vs. Amanda Nunes e pelo cinturao dia 31 de dezembro. E ridículo Ronda obter sua primeira luta pelo cinturao de depois de ser surrada pela Holy e uma apos sua maravilhosa luta, tirou um ano de ferias do octagon. só vai apoiar a história que ela foi criada pela mídia. Mais do que qualquer lutador que já existiu, Ronda e beneficiado pela marca da empresa. Ela se beneficiou das melhores entrevistas, os melhores patrocinadores, e as melhores promoções de luta e holofotes, mas mesmo com tudo isso, orçamento de marketing por trás dela, todo mundo já viu que ela não é a melhor. Há uma razão Ronda não está voltando para Holly Holm. Que a razão não é o fato de que Holly foi 0-2 desde a sua luta. A razão é que, mesmo Ronda, reconhece que Holly é melhor lutadora. Estilos fazem lutas, e que é a mesma razão Ronda nunca vai aceitar uma luta contra mim. Ela conhece o meu socos, tamanho e agressividade. Eu só fui para 140lbs (63kgs) em uma tentativa de tornar a luta contra Ronda Rousey possivel. Esse ano, eu deixe de lado minha categotia 145lbs(65.6) para fazer super lutas. Ao contrário de Conor Mcgregor minhas "super lutas" não foram contra grandes adversárias de nome, e semelhante a José Aldo há lutadoras na minha categoria como Megan Anderson, Cindy Dandois, Julia Budd, e Alexis Dufresene, estão prontas para lutar pelo o cinturao. Eu não posso forçar alguém a aceitar uma luta contra mim. Ronda pode continuar usando suas desculpas sobre os esteróides, mas eu tenho provado a todos ao contrario, eu fui a unica atleta que um ano antes de estrear no UfC, aceitei ser testada pela comissao atletica USADA. Ronda nunca lutou para ganhar seu cinturão do UFC, ela recebeu a cinta em uma conferência de imprensa e na sua primeira defesa, ela nem sequer enfrentou uma advesraria número 1. Enquanto ela é o lutadora mais popular do UFC segundo alguns, os números não mentem, e seu maior PPV foi sua perda con

A photo posted by CRISTIANE V JUSTINO ★ (@criscyborg) on 

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Ricardo Lamas (16-5-0) vs. Charles Oliveira (21-6-0); UFC Fight Night 98, November 5.

Yusuke Kasuya (9-2-2) vs. Alex Volkanovski (13-1-0); UFC Fight Night 101, November 27.

Geane Herrera (9-2-0) vs. Ben Ngyuen (14-6-0); UFC Fight Night 101, November 27.

Damien Brown (16-9-0) vs. Jon Tuck (9-3-0); UFC Fight Night 101, November 27.

Paige VanZant (7-2-0) vs. Michelle Waterson (13-4-0); UFC on Fox 22, December 17.

Ronda Rousey (12-1-0) vs. Amanda Nunes (13-4-0)UFC 207, December 30.

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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

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2012: Anderson Silva defeated Stephan Bonnar in the main event of UFC 153. The co-main event also saw the final victory of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's storied career when he submitted Dave Herman with an armbar.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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Have a good on y'all. See you on Friday.

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If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.