Ever since he earned a title shot against Anderson Silva at UFC 117, Chael Sonnen has separated himself from the rest of the pack in the Ultimate Fighting Championship when it comes to marketing.
Three years after his first showdown with Silva, and three failed attempts to secure UFC gold, “The American Gangster” remains one of the biggest draws in the promotion.
Well, unlike many other MMA fighters, Sonnen never neglects the business side of his occupation as a professional mixed martial artist. A simple dissection of his numerous poems, random quotes, and well-crafted personal insults hurled at a vast majority of his opponents, and it’s easy to tell that Sonnen spends a decent amount of time coming up with his material.
Sure signs of a man who understands that being marketable as a fighter is sometimes more important than fighting ability in the crazy world of combat sports.
The short and extremely lucrative MMA career of Kimbo Slice is a perfect example of that reality.
However, Sonnen isn’t the only fighter in the UFC who understands how important marketability is. His latest rival, Wanderlei Silva, has made it clear he doesn’t have any problem going toe-to-toe with Sonnen when it comes to pro-wrestling-style fight promotion.
Silva ran into Sonnen at the Mr. Olympia Expo and the two got into… Well, I guess you can call it an altercation.
“You need to know what you’re talking about mother [expletive],” Silva barked at Sonnen. “You need to know mother [expletive]. You’re time is gonna come mother [expletive]. You talking about the wrong guy mother [expletive]. You’re gonna see what’s gonna happen mother [expletive]. Come here mother [expletive].”
Not one to be humiliated while hundreds of fans looked on, Sonnen didn’t back down from “The Axe Murderer.”
“You need to know [who you’re messing with]. You need to know,” Sonnen fired back while the two men were separated. “Turn your little camera off too. Your time is gonna come.”
Cheesy yet highly amusing at the same time, this stuff took me back to Ken Shamrock’s and Tito Ortiz’ “altercations” during the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Sonnen is currently set to face Rashad Evans on Nov. 16 at UFC 167. The Portland native was originally hoping for a shot at Wanderlei, but the Brazilian didn’t commit to the fight when UFC officials refused to give him a slice of the pay-per-view revenue.
More than likely, UFC officials will be a bit more open to giving Wanderlei a cut of the pay-per-view action during the next round of negotiations given how well he continues to build up the hype for a potential fight between the two.