Sonnen Wants To Officiate Weidman / Silva II

Dare we think that Chael Sonnen is maturing?

I have to say, that in listening to his comments in this video and his remarks today at the (Boston) pre-fight press conference (he stole the show), that I think Sonnen is either finally growing up or at least, casting off his old and very tired carnival-barker persona.

Perhaps it’s his (relatively) new job over at FOX Sports as an analyst that has brought about the change or perhaps it’s just that he’s realized that people aren’t buying into his rhetoric the way they did 3 years ago, I have no idea, but what I do know or at least sense, is that something has changed in Sonnen and I like the change.

Gone are the ridiculous statements and the BS trash-talk that has never been backed up in the ring.

In their place, a much more calm, rational and professional fighter and one with a heck of a mind for explaining himself. In short, Sonnen is now coming across more like a MMA scholar and elderly statesman, than a pompous ***.

In speaking with Ariel Helwani, Sonnen covered many of the usual topics, namely his obsession with hunting down Wanderlei Silva and forcing him to either accept a fight or turn it down; a goal that he plans on pursing at 185, post his fight with Rua. On that point, Sonnen expects that the fight won’t go off and that instead, he’ll get Vitor Belfort (a fight I personally don’t see him landing).

Regarding a fight with Chris Weidman, Sonnen sidestepped the question and said “right now my focus is on Jon Jones, if I’m at this weight-class…but I gotta get back to him.” On this point, Sonnen believes that if he had another crack at Jones that he could beat him.

With that said, Sonnen commented that he was fine with losing to the light-heavyweight champ and that Jones “proved his point in the first round” and that he has no “resentment” over the loss and that it’s his two fights with Anderson, particularly the 2nd one, which “keep him up at night”; strangely though and uncharacteristically so, Chael made no mention of a wanting a 3rd match with “The Spider”.

The biggest bit of news out of the interview was that Sonnen wants to ref the December 28th rematch, between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva. Why he wants to do it, he didn’t say, but nonetheless, he wants to. Of it, Sonnen stated:

“I’m putting in an application and I’m going to try and get my referee’s license and I’m hoping to officiate that match. Whether or not they’ll assign me to it or not, I’ve refed plenty of matches in other jurisdictions and I’m applying for that one in Nevada.”  

All in all, it was a decent interview and one that made me like him more than I have in quite some time. I wish the new-and-improved and more humble Chael Sonnen, all the best on Saturday night.



15 Comments

  1. Profile photo of thexperience1

    thexperience1

    August 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I agree… i could not stand Sonnen in the past but i've warmed up to him and he's actually very likable and entertaining to me now….

  2. Profile photo of InfiniteEnigma

    InfiniteEnigma

    August 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Yea, he is maturing a bit, or just dropping what didnt work very long for him. If he gets licensed I would still be a bit uneasy about letting him ref that match due to personal bias, but who knows, maybe he can throw that aside . Of course a clear cut sub or KO need not worry about bias, but early stoppage situation or other stuff may cause concern.

    • Profile photo of D

      D

      August 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

      What "didn't work for him?" Nobody knew who Chael Sonnen was before he started talking crap about Anderson Silva. Now he's one of the biggest names in MMA. It looks to me like it worked amazingly well.

      I don't think it has anything to do with "maturing" I just think his act served it's purpose, so he can just go back to being himself now.

  3. Profile photo of grandslam

    grandslam

    August 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Cheal is the last guy Silva would want inside the octagon with Weidman.

    You guys can go on and on about how mature Cheal is behaving but I can never trust this guy for nuts.

  4. Profile photo of Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee

    August 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Whether he would do a good job or not the perception of many people would be bias and so it is just not worth the risk of controversy.

    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      August 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      I know he could do the job and my guess is, that he'd be very good at it, but as you say, there would be too many pot-holes of controversy that would be open to debate should "something" happen in the fight and it be anything short of a finish for either Weidman or Silva.

      What strikes me as weird, is why does he want to do it?

      I don't understand the motivation. Perhaps it's just a really coy way of coping the best seat in the house, for what's going to be, an incredible re-match. It could be that freaking simple, man. It so, he's a genius.

      Beyond that though, I think his presence in the ring would give the fight a type of carnival or pro-wrestling feel to it and that's the last thing that Weidman / Silva II needs. This bout will go to a quality ref like Herb Dean or Big John.

  5. Profile photo of akieyugames

    akieyugames

    August 15, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I like Sonnen, even when running his mouth, but I like him more as an analyzer, and a host. I remember when he was telling a story about how he bought a joke from Libben, but Libben was still telling that joke, and he didn't really get the point of selling a joke, that was pretty funny. I would rather watch him commentate rather than officiate a match though.

  6. Profile photo of N.C.

    N.C.

    August 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Hes good at keeping people guessing.

    You can love him or hate him. But as long as there is a set of eyes on every tv and a *** every 40 inches in the arena. He's done his job.

    I personally, like him talking. I tend to skip his trash talk now. But he's a great coach and a great analyst. So when he buckles down, he actually talks about some really great stuff.

  7. Profile photo of MMA Don

    MMA Don

    August 16, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Silva vs Weidman ll with Sonnen as special guest referee! Sounds like a Wrestlemania main event

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