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Chael Sonnen Calls The UFC’s Light Heavyweight Division “A Joke”

The ever-outspoken, feather-ruffling politician/fighter from Oregon, Chael Sonnen, has unsurprisingly not decided to pull his verbal jabs. In an interview given to Fight! Magazine at last weekend’s UFC Fan Expo, Sonnen not only took shots at former Light Heavyweight Champions Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, he called out the entire light heavyweight division.

“185 pounds is the toughest division in the business,” said the real estate agent. “If you’re going to go after the belt, go after the tough one. I’d love to get a night off and go beat up some of [the UFC’s light heavyweights]. For god’s sake, 205 had a karate guy that was their champion. That weight class is a joke.”

Dismissing the world-class Lyoto Machida as a “karate guy” will certainly incense some fans but is likely just another attempt by Sonnen to ruffle feathers. With established fighters such as Rashad Evans, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Randy Couture, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Forrest Griffin, Thiago Silva, Brandon Vera and champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua dotting its roster in addition to talented up-and-comers Jon “Bones” Jones, Jason Brilz, Ryan Bader and Phil Davis it is difficult to make the argument that the UFC’s light heavyweight division is a joke. Perhaps we will eventually get the chance to see Sonnen test his skills against the heavier fighters at 205.

In addition to calling them out by virtue of association with their division, Sonnen also took aim personally at “Rampage” and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”

In an obvious allusion to Ortiz’s highly-publicized dispute with the UFC, Sonnen said: “If I beat Anderson Silva and become the World Champion, I imagine I’ll get in a public dispute with the UFC, I’ll call Dana a bunch of names throughout the media and I imagine I’ll leave the company. After about a year or so, I’ll realize that there’s nowhere else to go, return to the UFC with a raise and probably coach the reality show. I’m just sayin’ it seems to be the trend, doesn’t it?”

Sonnen also joined those critical of Quinton Jackson’s fledgling acting career.

“I won’t watch the A-Team movie,” said Sonnen. “That was my favorite TV show, but they cast the wrong guy. I won’t be watching it.”

Whatever Sonnen’s mission, it is clear that he is not looking to make friends of many of his fellow fighters. Though he may not be attracting the admiration of his peers, Sonnen’s outlandish comments and willingness to call just about anyone out have him quickly being noticed and appreciated by many MMA fans. Win or lose, the entertainment value that Sonnen carries with him into his fights will likely keep him employed for some time; whether or not you find that to be a good thing is another matter altogether.