Things are always more interesting when Chael Sonnen’s around, and the charismatic fighter has likely raised a few eyebrows by announcing he’s returning to the middleweight division. Yes, “The American Gangster” will battle “Shogun” Rua as scheduled at UFC Fight Night 26 on August 17th, but after that, he hopes to throw down with a couple of the promotion’s middleweight stars.

Sonnen announced his intentions on the latest edition of “UFC Tonight” by stating:

“I’ll return to middleweight after beating Shogun. There’re two guys I want to get matched up with: Vitor Belfort, because he’s awesome and he’s on an incredible roll. And Wanderlei Silva, who I’ve heard is going back to middleweight. The landscape has completely changed. I’ve got a new contract and I’m returning to the weight class.”

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

Of course, the news isn’t earth shattering, since Sonnen has had extensive success while competing at 185 pounds, and this way he won’t have to fight much bigger competition like  Jon Jones…Also, if Chris Weidman can defeat Anderson Silva in the rematch, and if Sonnen puts some key wins together at middleweight, another crack at the belt could be had. It’s not impossible right?

Up first, however, is Mr. Rua, and there’s no question a third consecutive loss for Sonnen would be a considerable setback, even if it’s at 205 pounds.

UFC Fight Night 26 will be hosted by Boston’s TD Garden Arena and will be broadcast by FOX Sports 1.

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