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Wednesday, 07/24/2013, 09:29 am

With new contract Chael Sonnen plans to return to middleweight after Shogun fight

Chael Sonnen has a light heavyweight bout against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua next month at UFC Fight Night 26, but he plans to move back down to his former weight class.

On Tuesday night’s edition of UFC Tonight, Sonnen (27-13-1) said that he plans to return to middleweight after he beats Shogun (21-7).

“There are two guys that I want to get matched up with—first is Vitor Belfort because he’s awesome and on an incredible roll, and the second is Wanderlei [Silva], who I’ve now found out is going back to middleweight,” he said on UFC Tonight. “The landscape has completely changed. I got a new contract and I’m returning to the weight class.”

The 36-year-old has lost two in a row. He suffered a second round technical knockout to then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 in July 2012.

He moved to light heavyweight for a title shot against champion Jon Jones in April at UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen. Sonnen failed in his attempt to win the title, but he agreed to another bout at light heavyweight to help launch the new Fox Sports 1 network.

Sonnen also announced that he recently signed a new five-fight contract with UFC and that he has a new fight team. Sonnen will now prepare at Reign Training Center in Lake Forest, Calif. UFC middleweight contender Mark Munoz is the head coach at that training center.

“I’ve moved to Southern California and am training at Reign with Mark Munoz,” he said. “My new contract, which is a five-fight deal, was finalized today.”

UFC Fight Night 26 is scheduled for Aug. 17 at the TD Garden in Boston and will air on Fox Sports 1.

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