Sunday, August 8, 2010


Should Chael Sonnen win? Does Anderson Silva deserve to stay UFC middleweight champion? These thoughts flooded mixed martial arts fans from across the globe for months on end as Chael Sonnen, an extraordinary wrestler who has beaten a who’s who of champions and top contenders in various organizations throughout his professional MMA career began his epic series of verbal tirades against the current middleweight champion of the UFC.

Sonnen, part wrestler, part politician, and all mixed martial artist, had been talking some of the most extreme forms of trash against champion Anderson Silva for months and months on end, partly to hype up the main event, partly to deliver more confidence to himself, and partly because he actually believed the stuff he was spewing. In a recent interview with Ron Kruck on Inside MMA, Sonnen explains that he never once talked trash against Anderson Silva, simply because he defines “talking trash” as making stuff up just to make your opponent look bad. He says that he never once made any of the negative talk he shared with the various media sources up. He says he believes it all to be true, even when he says that Silva could never be taken down before because he was always soaked in baby oil. He even outright calls him a “cheater” for doing so.

Sonnen’s “trash talking” also included calling Anderson Silva a liar, since Silva had signed a contract months before committing to fight then-top contender Demian Maia, at the infamous main event of the very memorable UFC 112. Sonnen says Anderson did not go in there to fight, but to just clown around and waste the fans’ time and money. Though I did not take a lot of what Sonnen said over the past few months very seriously, including the aforementioned baby oil comment, and simply looked at them as comprising a massive hype machine for the much anticipated August event, this one rang a bell with me and many other fans throughout the world.

Dana has gone on record saying that UFC 112was the first time he ever walked out on a UFC main event. He was so disgusted at Silva’s performance that he seriously thought about immediately firing him, or at the very least, make his next fight an untelevised preliminary bout, and simply gave the belt to his manager and walked away. At the post-fight press conference, he promised to the fans that he would definitely make up for it somehow. Fans all over clamored to have Silva’s next bout be offered for free, but Dana and the rest of the UFC higher ups, instead went with the more business-friendly route: picking a top contender who would fight, and fight brutally.

Chael Sonnen is that contender, and he sold his position very well, dividing UFC fans from all over. Pretty much all of the fans agreed that Silva’s last bout was a major disappointment, but they still recognized his amazing fighting capabilities. A lot of Sonnen’s negative arguments were rather convincing, though, and some fans wanted Silva to suffer for his last performance, and maybe even loss his title. Should the title go to the trash-spewing villain or to the major disappointment? Who did you root for?

I was on the Silva camp, simply because, despite the fact that I was overwhelmingly impressed by Sonnen in his fight against Nate “The Great” Marquardt at UFC 109,and was familiar with his credentials, I was still highly confident that Silva’s highly touted skills, which gave him an 11-fight win streak and 7 title defenses in the UFC, and had many calling him the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, would somehow see him through yet again. Personally, I wished for an early knockout a la Forrest Griffin at UFC 101.

You can check out more great photos of UFC 117 over at the official UFC website.

The hype is all well and good, but what actually happened?

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