UFC 148: Anderson Silva v. Chael Sonnen II
A lot of mud has been slung leading up to the UFC 148’s middleweight title rematch between Champion Anderson 'The Spider' Silva and #1 contender Chael Sonnen. Almost all the mud has been flung from Sonnen at Silva.
"You tell Anderson Silva that I'm coming over and I'm kicking down his backdoor and patting his little lady on the ass and I'm telling her to make me a steak, medium-rare just how I like it,” Sonnen said on The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo.
Speaking of Anderson Silva’s Brazilian jiu Jitsu black belt under the Nogueira brothers, Sonnen quipped, “A black belt under the Nogueiras is like saying I got a free toy in my Happy Meal.”
If that weren’t enough, Sonnen has fired a barrage of insults at Silva and his legacy, saying “Andreson Silva, you absolutely suck.” Sonnen has also insulted Silva’s country, Brazil: “…when I was a little kid, I'd go outside with my friends and we'd talk about the latest technology, in medicine, gaming, and American ingenuity, and Anderson and the Brazilian kids are sitting outside playing in the mud."
It's hard to believe Sonnen has had friends.
At UFC 117, Sonnen surprised fans by keeping Silva down for most of the fight, only to lose via triangle choke late in the fifth. It’s not the first time Silva has faced a great wrestler. Silva weathered a first round take down and then landed a knee that stunned 1992 and 1996 Olympic wrestler and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson, and set him up for a rear-naked choke.
Although he didn’t talk much about it, fans knew Silva fought Sonnen that night with a severe rib injury, and looked lethargic. Sonnen, on the other hand, tested positive for extreme levels of testosterone---14.9:1 rather than the normal 1:1 or 4:1 athletes are allowed. Sonnen was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for one year---until Septmeber, 2011--- and fined $2,500 dollars for this failure. The American claimed his replacement therapy had been approved and that it was communication that had failed. His excuses do not explain levels 4X the allowable limit.
Typically, replacement therapy is needed when previous doping has depleted the body of its natural ability to create testosterone. Levels are tightly regulated, and for good reason. Sonnen’s subsequent less than impressive win over a mere decent Michael Bisping is indicative of the advantage he had against Silva, and of the lesser fighter Anderson Silva will face this time around.
Sonnen’s year-long suspension was reduced to six months after his appeal and his discretion ruled "a failure to disclose a medical treatment", but raised back up to a year after a money laundering conviction related to a mortgage fraud with his involvement as a real estate agent, for which he was fined $10,000 and placed on two years probation.
On his twitter page, Sonnen refers to himself as ‘Godfather of Integrity’. In light of his cheating in and outside the UFC, this self-proclaimed title seems laughable at best, and eerily similar to Fox ‘News’ calling itself ‘Fair and Balanced’. Sonnen is a republican after all. But these words and actions have destroyed his credibility amongst sophisticated fans. Compare Sonnen with Silva---the unanimous choice for best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Silva said to students at his gym, “We’re here for each other. You learn from me, I learn from you. I am not the truth.”
Who would you want over for dinner?
Criticisms of Silva have their roots in his showboating. When he fought fellow Brazilian and BJJ ace Damien Maia, Silva taunted and goaded en route to a five round decision. Maia could not take the fight down and was embarrassed in the stand-up. Fans and UFC brass were irked with Silva. “It’s a fight,” they said, “so fight.”
No one in the UFC---not even team mate and heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos---has the overall striking prowess possessed by The Spider. And he is dangerous on the ground against wrestlers, as demonstrated by his choking out Henderson and Sonnen. But if the Brazilian is certain he can pull that off again and showboats in any way, he could end up with a tally in the loss column. He needs to find a way to limit his time on the ground, and has to execute a devastating blow like he did against Henderson.
Sonnen’s only single hope is to ground and pound for five rounds while avoiding a submission, something he’s worked hard on in this training camp. Considering his insult of Silva’s BJJ, it’s fitting he lost via choke at UFC 117. Although Silva never said as much, it may have been the champ’s plan from the beginning to win via Nogueira BJJ.
To the joy of Silva fans, the Brazilian finally fired back: “I’m going to make him pay and make him eat everything he’s said, not only about myself, but about our country, about everything. I’m going to make him pay and make sure he never disrespects any fighter, not only Brazilians. I’m going to beat him the way his parents should have beat him to teach him some manners. He’s disrespectful, he’s a criminal, and I’m going to beat him up like he’s never been beaten up before. The games are over.”
Silva has taught lessons before---ten times in championship fights---and will again Saturday night at UFC 148. There’s simply too much at stake. Silva knows that if he loses to this clown, it’ll haunt his legacy till his dying days.
Silva via KO by the third round.
There are many more interesting fights in the card. Click here for the entire roster.
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