New opportunity for Chael Sonnen?

Updated: July 13, 2012, 1:52 PM ET
By Franklin McNeil | ESPN.com

Former top middleweight contender Chael Sonnen is entertaining the possibility of a return to light heavyweight.

"When you get stuck in this spot that I'm in, and again, Anderson Silva could announce his retirement any day, but there's also a major opportunity for a fresh start by simply switching weight classes," Sonnen said Thursday in an interview on Fuel TV. "That's something that's very common historically that guys have done.

"My mentors Randy Couture and Dan Henderson have done that. That's something to look at as well."

Sonnen (27-12-1) made his UFC debut against Renato Sobral on Oct. 7, 2005, in a light heavyweight bout, losing by second-round submission. He returned to middleweight for his next fight with the promotion and earned a unanimous decision over Trevor Prangley in April 2006.

But it was his two title bouts with Silva that made Sonnen a huge mixed martial arts attraction. He would lose each of his fights with Silva, the most recent coming July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas when he was stopped by TKO in the second round at UFC 148.

While Sonnen remains ranked among the top five middleweights in UFC, having come up short twice against Silva in a two-year span make the odds of him getting a third shot at the champion long at best.

But Sonnen, 35, isn't yet ready to abandon his goal of wearing the 185-pound title belt.

"Give me a couple of weeks," he said. "I'm not trying to make any claim or put myself in any corner. There's some great guys at 185 and that's not what it's about, but traditionally and historically (changing weight classes) is a very good way to get a fresh start and kind of rejuvenate your career."

ALSO SEE