Chael Sonnen: Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk

| October 7, 2011 | 8:40 am | Reply

Selling a fight and having the fans interested in watching it can be the biggest battle any promoter faces in MMA. Few men are able to sell the card with their personality alone, even if they are outmatched from the opening gate where some can talk the talk and easily walk the walk; nobody does this better than the former WEC middleweight champion, Chael Sonnen.

Standing across from Brian Stann this weekend, the former Oregon realtor is looking to win the bout (which he is not looking forward to given Stann’s credibility) and have the opportunity to get what he feels is rightfully his, the UFC middleweight championship. In the event of a win, lose or draw for Sonnen, it would be in Zuffa’s best strategy to offer him a rematch with Anderson Silva, given their history and Sonnen’s vocalization about the Brazilian and his style.

Sonnen is easily the sole man in recent years that came within ninety seconds from dethroning “The Spider”, before succumbing to a triangle-armbar. Throughout the fight, his wrestling and grueling ground work kept the champion in trouble and was winning on all the scorecards. Regardless of Silva’s injuries leading into the bout, you cannot take away what Sonnen was able to achieve in their meeting.

As his opinions may not always be appreciated by fans or fighters, he is not afraid to speak his mind and can back up what he says. However, Sonnen is not stupid either; in the UFC 136 conference call last week, Sonnen told media that – “It is getting harder for me not to recognize who he is or what he has done…he ducked Yushin for a while and dismantled him, so yes I think he is talented but not as good as me. I will never say Anderson Silva is better than me, that’s a farce.”

Mental strength is just as important as physicality in MMA and the wrestler has shown that he is able to get under his opponents skin, if they allow this, the fight is his to win. Before we start planning on Silva-Sonnen II at UFC Japan 2012 (shout out to Joe Silva, make it happen) Brian Stann is the one man in the way the could upset all of this.

Along with Stann, Dana White has said throughout this week that Dan Henderson is another name to throw in the mix but at this point in his career with his momentum at light heavyweight – give him Jon Jones if he can overcome Shogun in November. Chael Sonnen is the only man right now that will take the fight to Anderson Silva and is the only real draw in the current list of middleweights ready for their chance at gold on the waist.

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Category: Exclusive, MMA, Opinion, UFC

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