Prior to his UFC 117 fight against Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen talked a lot of trash, promising to retire the longest reigning champion in UFC history.
Surprisingly, Sonnen actually backed up his words when the two squared up inside the Octagon, controlling the middleweight champion on the ground for four and a half rounds – he even rocked Silva with a couple of haymakers early in the fight.
Unfortunately for Sonnen, his disdain for Brazilian Jiu jitsu caught up to him once again, and he ended up tapping out to an armbar-triangle combo during the final minutes of the fight.
Still, his performance against Silva was enough to earn him a legion of new fans, but his failed post-fight drug test prompted some to question the legitimacy of his performance against Silva.
So the question is; why was Sonnen able to dominate Silva at UFC 117?
Besides fighting with elevated testosterone levels – and Silva’s rib injury, Sonnen had the element of surprise on his side. Coming into the fight, Sonnen’s greatest accomplished in MMA was a unanimous decision against Yushin Okami, and he seemed like a very easy opponent for Anderson Silva on paper.
However, Sonnen’s bite turned out to be as big as his bark, leading to a very entertaining UFC 117 headliner.
Unfortunately for Sonnen though, Silva now knows what he brings to the table, and I expect a completely different fight at UFC 148. The champ has had more than enough time to make the necessary adjustments for Sonnen’s takedowns, and he’s obviously eager to make a strong statement against his arch rival.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m on the bottom, the side, the top – it doesn’t matter,” Silva said about his upcoming bout against the Portland native. “Chael Sonnen’s going to get his ass kicked like he’s never gotten his ass kicked before. What I’m going to do inside the octagon is something that’s going to change the image of the sport. I’m going to beat his ass like he’s never been beaten before. I’m going to make sure that every one of his teeth are broken, his arms are broken, [and] his legs are broke. He’s not going to be able to walk out of the Octagon by himself. I can guarantee that. … I’m going to beat him maybe the way his parents should have beat him to teach him some manners.”
Steven Marrocco, “Silva threatens Sonnen’s face and limbs ahead of UFC 148”