After harassing the current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for the past year, MMA veteran Chael Sonnen finally gave the sports pound-for-pound king his due credit.
“It’s getting harder and harder to deny that he should be shown that appreciation,” Sonnen said in a recent interview. “He ducked Okami for years, but he did finally get in there and he made it look easy, so, I think you’ve got to look at that. If you’re asking if I would ever concede that Anderson’s better than me? No. I would simply refer you to the tape. I think [our] skills are vastly different. I think I could come down a lot and still be ahead of him. I also think he ducks and dodges opponents constantly, but, listen, his wins and losses speak for themselves and the fact of the matter, whether I’d like to admit it or not, is he’s done a better job than anybody; he’s done a better job than me, and he is the champion. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to quit poking my finger in his chest, but, at some point, I think fairness needs to kick in, too, and I think you need to look at what he’s done and tip your hat to him a little bit.”
Sonnen made a name for himself with his trash-talk, and four and a half round domination of Anderson Silva at UFC 117. Sonnen’s performance against Anderson Silva at UFC 117 became questionable when the 34 year old MMA fighter failed a post-fight drug test.
Sonnen was able to keep his name relevant with MMA fans even with his failed drug test and legal troubles, thanks to his regularly released controversial comments.
Sonnen is set to make his return to the Octagon against Brain Stann at UFC 136, and many MMA fans (even those that can’t stand the Portland native) will be rooting for him. With a win against Stann at UFC 136, Sonnen will probably get a rematch against Silva in the near future.
Suspected PED use by the challenger, and claims of a rib injury by Anderson Silva took away from Sonnen’s performance at UFC 117. A rematch is definitely needed to find out how a clean Sonnen matches-up against a healthy Silva.
Sonnen is probably the best UFC fighter at selling fights right now, and it’s often best not take his comments too seriously. Some of Sonnen’s comments have certainly crossed the line, but his recent comments regarding Anderson Silva gives MMA fans a glimpse of the real Chael Sonnen.