Chael Sonnen and His Rightful Place in UFC History

| November 14, 2013 | 1:29 pm | Reply

Chael SonnenOver the last several years Chael Sonnen, (the American Gangster, the People’s Champ, the Gangster from West Linn) has transformed himself into one of the faces of the UFC. Or is it that the many faces of Chael Sonnen have transformed the UFC? Either way, he has injected himself into the mainstream consciousness in a way no fighter before him was ever able to do. It is only fitting he has a place on one of the biggest cards in company history, UFC 167, and its 20th anniversary event.

Before he started mouthing off about Anderson Silva, Sonnen was essentially a journeyman fighter. He fought in promotions in all over the globe accumulating a good, albeit unspectacular record. When he finally got his shot at Silva, he made sure the entire world was watching. He gave promos that were straight out of the WWE, never backing down to the legend that was Anderson Silva. And rather than wilting when the time came to back it up, he walked the walk.  We knew he could talk the talk but he pushed Silva to the brink.  By being able to do both well, you know, walk and talk, Sonnen has secured a unique place for himself within the UFC.

Fast forward to just over three years later and Chael Sonnen is everywhere. He has headlined two of the biggest PPV events in recent memory, UFC 148 and UFC 159. The first UFC event on the premiere of Fox Sports 1 also had a main event that was one half Sonnen. In addition to fighting a full schedule, the versatile Oregonian pulls dual hosting and analyst duty on “UFC Tonight” and other various fight night events.  Let us also not forget that he coached the Ultimate Fighter earlier in the year and already has another gig lined up for the Ultimate Fighter Brazil. Does the man ever rest? Not if you believe his motto “Every day I fight.”

For years, many believed that a “company man” in the UFC was someone like Rich Franklin; A fighter who will take a fight on short notice and fight at any weight in order to help bail out the promotion when they were in need. Chael Sonnen has helped to evolve that definition of “company man” in the UFC. Not only will he fight anyone, anywhere, anytime, (Remember UFC 151? Oh right, neither do I) but he will promote it, sell it and even analyze it. He understands both the fighting and entertainment aspects of the sport and how to cater to each side.  While it is true Sonnen is not above making the inappropriate comment or insult, he is a great ambassador to the sport and the UFC.  A placement on the company’s 20th anniversary event is an appropriate reward for a man who has given the UFC so much.

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Category: MMA, Opinion, UFC, Ultimate Fighter

Tyler Keane (Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I reside in Boston MA and am pursuing my dream of writing about MMA. I am very passionate about the sport and helping to continue its growth. Follow me on Twitter @TyGuyMMA

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