File Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Embattled middleweight champion Anderson Silva will likely make his next title defense against the surging Chael Sonnen, UFC President Dana White on Wednesday revealed to ESPN’s “Rome is Burning.” According to a report from MMAJunkie.com, the matchup could be held on Aug. 7 at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
Silva drew heavy criticism following his strange but successful title defense against Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia in the UFC 112 headliner on April 10 at the Ferrari World Concert Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The 35-year-old champion resorted to bizarre antics during the bout, taunting Maia throughout the five-round encounter.
“I don’t think I’ve been more embarrassed in the 10 years of being in this business,” White said in wake of the event. “It’s the first time I’ve ever walked out on a main event, given the belt to the guy’s manager and told him to put it on him.”
Silva, still widely regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, has won 12 consecutive bouts, 11 of them inside the UFC. His list of victims includes two-time Olympian Dan Henderson, ex-UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin, one-time UFC middleweight kingpin Rich Franklin (twice) and former middleweight King of Pancrase Nate Marquardt.
Sonnen will carry a three-fight winning streak into his next appearance. The 33-year-old Team Quest standout last fought in February, when he outpointed Marquardt en route to a unanimous decision at UFC 109. Sonnen, who has been outspoken with his disdain for Silva, owns other notable wins over the world-ranked Yushin Okami, former International Fight League middleweight champion Dan Miller and one-time World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight titleholder Paulo Filho.