Chael Sonnen’s schedule heading into UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen has cleared up quite a bit as the middleweight top contender told Fight! Magazine that he is dropping out of the Oregon Senate race, where he received the Republican nomination for District 37 in May.
“In the best interests of my district, I am resigning from my campaign for the Oregon House of Representatives. A 2006 legal issue has arisen that needs my immediate attention,” said Sonnen. “I am not at liberty to disclose the details, but my name was involved in a real estate case that requires a ruling. If the ruling is adverse, I would be disqualified from running for office until 2011. So, given that possibility, I have chosen to withdraw my name as a candidate in 2010. I will continue to contribute to my community and ensure that we have a capable candidate to run for my district in November.”
The withdrawal gives Sonnen more time to prepare for his first UFC title shot when he faces reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in August. Unbeaten in his last three UFC fights over top-level competition, Sonnen is hoping to use his superior wrestling to ground the champion. Sonnen is a former U.S. Olympic team alternate, as well as a two-time National Champion in Greco-Roman wrestling at the University of Oregon. Sonnen, who is known for putting constant pressure on his opponents, is coming off impressive wins over Dan Miller, Yushin Okami, and Nate Marquardt, and he wants to make it four in a row by adding the name of Anderson Silva to that list.
“He’s been ducking me for four years,” Sonnen recently said of the UFC middleweight champion. “This fight is a large part about the title and a large part about him. We’re not going to be friends. He’s not my kind of guy. But this fight is also to prove a point to the rest of the guys in the division. One guy has challenged him in four years and it’s been me.”
UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen takes place on August 7, 2010 from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.