As all fans know, Chael Sonnen is the William Shakespeare, Edward R. Murrow and Rodney Dangerfield of MMA. He is a man that’s never at a loss for words and one that doesn’t mince them, either.
Keeping true to form, Sonnen recently spoke his mind on one of his favorite subjects, Anderson Silva, and regarding “The Spider’s” latest comments about Chael, which were, that Sonnen was “crazy” and that he was confused about how “The American Gangster” felt about Brazil.
When queried on the subject by WHOA TV, Sonnen simply stated that Silva “had the right to his opinion”, that he was looking forward to watching Silva’s next match and that “who knows”, he may even reach out to the Spider and offer him a coaching spot on his (Sonnen’s) team, for this season’s TUF Brazil.
On this point, if Anderson’s schedule permits and he can bring himself to be working with / under Sonnen, then it would great news for the show and the fighters on it, to have the legend participate as a coach.
However and regardless of whether or not Sonnen likes and respects Silva enough to bring him on board as a coach, the American Gangster couldn’t pass up the opportunity for lobbying for a third fight with Silva.
As fans know, Sonnen’s had two kicks at the can already and came up short in both.
However, as Chael likes to point out, he doesn’t “accept the outcome of either one of those fights.”
As Sonnen sees it, in the first fight Silva was out struck 303 to 11 and Chael feels that the bout should have been stopped; that the referee failed to do his job. Of their second match, Sonnen says he “fell down”, that he wasn’t knocked down and that it was wrong (inferred) to score the fight a knock out.
Without digging up the history of the two bouts or reminding Chael that of his 303 shots thrown in the first fight, that none of them cut or damaged Silva, or that yes, Sonnen did fall down in the second fight, but he also got back up and was then summarily dropped by Silva, all of it aside, the subject of a third fight between the two is an interesting one to contemplate.
Since their last meeting (July 2012) a great deal has changed and all of it has been positive for Sonnen.
He has transformed his public persona from that of cheat and criminal, with a chip on his shoulder, to one of an amiable, articulate and passionate defender of the sport, and a company man who will take any fight on short notice, and as against any fighter. Beyond that, he’s also become one of the sports best on-air commentators and analysts. In short, he’s gone from a villainous black hat, to a high profile hero with a white Stetson.
Further, Sonnen’s game has grown. No longer does he seem to be a power wrestler content with taking fighters down and simply grinding on them for 15 or 25 minutes. Now, he’s a fighter that’s demonstrating a submission’s game, as well, as exampled in his last fight with Shogun Rua; guillotine choke, round one.
Further still, he has had the chance to witness Silva lose and more particularly, get KO’d by a fellow power wrestler. From Sonnen’s stand point, he probably looked at Weidman’s win and thought to himself, “I can do that.”
To that point, perhaps he could. Sonnen came very close to beating Silva twice and it’s conceivable, that now that he’s seen Silva beaten, that the third time might prove to be the charm for Chael.
However and in terms of a trilogy bout between the two, there are several obstacles in the way.
The first obstacle and perhaps the only one that matters, is whether or not Silva will retire after his UFC 168 bout with Chris Weidman.
If Silva doesn’t retire, then the standings math would have to add up, Silva would have to want to take the fight, which he might not be interested in, and finally, the fans would have to want to see it.
On the last point, there’s a strong possibility that they might. Again, Sonnen has really turned it around and become a real fan favorite, and where fans might not have been interested in a trilogy bout between the pair in 2012, they might be interested in it in 2014.
Either way, a lot of things would have to go right for Sonnen to get his wish, but in thinking about it, fans might come to the conclusion that the final chapter in the Silva / Sonnen saga still needs to be written.
Outer Photo: Mark J. Rebilas for USA TODAY Sports