Last weekend, in the main event of Bellator NYC, three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen took on one of his fiercest rivals in Wanderlei Silva. Though he was rocked badly by a punch mid-way through the fight, Sonnen dominated with his wrestling through the rest of the encounter, and ultimately won himself a unanimous decision as a result.
Though Sonnen followed this performance with callouts of Bellator stars like Fedor Emelianenko, Rory MacDonald, and even Chuck Liddell, he has been called out himself by the Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho.
Carvalho, who is a riding high after a thunderous, head-kick knockout defeat of striking specialist Melvin Manhoef, made his callout of Sonnen in an interview with MMAFighting.com. Apparently, Carvalho is hoping to meet Sonnen in a light heavyweight super fight, rather than a middleweight title defense.
“I want to challenge Sonnen,” Carvalho explained. “Instead of doing another title defense, make this superfight.”
Carvalho then explained how he believes this potential showdown would unfold.
“He only has that wrestling game, and I believe that after I defend his first three takedowns, he won’t shoot anymore,” Carvalho said. “I’ll be honest with you, nothing he did [against Wanderlei Silva] surprised me. Standing and trading with Wanderlei is not for everyone, and Sonnen is not stupid. He realized that when he tried and almost got knocked out.”
“With a knee, in the third round,” Carvalho said when asked how he believes he would defeat Sonnen. “I would induce him to go for a takedown and I would find an opening for my knee.
With his defeat of Silva, Chael Sonnen rebounded from a submission loss to Tito Ortiz. He’s now 1-1 in the Bellator cage. Carvalho, meanwhile, has gone 5-0 in the Bellator cage.
Who do you think wins a light heavyweight scrap between “The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen and the Bellator middleweight champ Rafael Carvalho?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/3/2017.