Chael Sonnen has relentlessly taunted Anderson Silva for years, and the Portland native's verbal assault has certainly had its toll on the UFC's middleweight champion.
Silva finally fired back during a recent conference call, promising to unleash a vicious beating on Sonnen when the two collide at UFC 148. The event is set for July 7, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Given how Anderson has reacted to taunts in the past, a decent number of people in the MMA community seem to think that Sonnen's antics will have an effect on "The Spider's" performance at UFC 148.
Current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is one of those folks, and he shared his thoughts during a recent interview with Sportsnet.ca.
"He wants to get into Anderson Silva's head and he did it," GSP said. "That's what he wants, because when you fight with emotion, you don't fight smart. … The crowd, they love it. [Silva] he's going to go crazy but he can make a mistake if you do that. It's a big mistake. You have to go back to the reason he's a champion. And the reason he's a champion is because he fights smart, he's skilled. More skilled than the other guys ... He brings the fight where he is the best. He doesn't go crazy."
If you've watched Silva over the years, you've probably noticed that he does have a tendency to get overly emotional when taunted. Damien Maia got under his skin prior to their UFC 112 encounter - with some rather mild trash talk, and it led to a rather bizarre performance by Silva.
Sonnen's trash talk leading up to his UFC 117 bout against Silva, also had its effect on the middleweight champion. He came out wearing a gi for the first time in his UFC career, and he seemed a little too eager to play guard with Chael Sonnen (the "American Gangster's" comments about his BJJ skills probably had something to with that). He threw wild techniques like flying high-kicks throughout the bout, making it easier for Sonnen to take the fight to the ground.
However, Silva always manages to win even when he loses his composure, and I think he's already learnt from his mistakes in the past. I expect him to be calm and collected at UFC 148, as he takes out his frustration on Sonnen.
Sportsnet.ca, "UFC has no problem with Silva's trash-talking"
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.