• UFC 130

Sonnen offered to fight Rampage at UFC 130

ESPN staff
April 15, 2011

Chael Sonnen offered to step in for Thiago Silva and fight Rampage Jackson at UFC 130, according to the middleweight's manager.

Silva was pulled from the event due to delivering a positive drug test at UFC 125, and Jackson was eventually matched with former TUF participant Matt Hamill.

However, according to Mike Roberts, Sonnen put his name forward to step up from 185lbs to light-heavyweight, for what would have been a blockbuster encounter.

"The thing about Chael is when he does all these interviews, and he sounds crazy when he says 'I'll fight any man God ever created', he's telling the truth," Roberts told MMAWeekly Radio.

"When Rampage's initial opponent went down before all this fiasco was going on, before Hamill stepped in to take the fight, when that went down I was with Chael and he was like 'I'd love to fight Rampage.' And I was like, 'but you're a 185-pounder' and he was like, 'I'd fight him in a heartbeat,'" Roberts said.

Sonnen had hoped to be back fighting by UFC 130 following a suspension for abnormal levels of testosterone, but he is currently without a fight licence. That remains his immediate goal before an expected fight with Michael Bisping, but Roberts insists he would not be surprised if the American was seen in the 205lb division in the future.

"Fighting big fights at 205 would not be a problem for him," Roberts commented. "[Chael said] whoever they think is the toughest guy, that's the guy I want."

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