Arguably the biggest rematch in UFC history will take place this Saturday night at UFC 148 as Chael Sonnen challenges Anderson SIlva for the UFC Middleweight Championship. Sonnen gave Silva everything he could handle for four-and-a-half rounds before Silva caught him in a triangle choke, and retained the title.
After that fight, we learned Silva entered the fight with a rib injury, and Sonnen entered the fight with illegally high levels of testosterone. How much of that factored into the fight? We don't know, but we'll get a better idea after Saturday's fight.
No one hypes a fight like Chael Sonnen. Last week on 750AM The Game, he was at it again. When asked for his thoughts on Anderson Silva, Sonnen compared the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter to Mike Tyson:
Yeah he’s just a person. You hear those things, but they told us that about Mike Tyson, too, and what a wimp that guy turned out to be when he finally got some real competition. He’s kind of like the Mike Tyson of our era, where they say certain things but at the end of the day, when they lock that cage door, he’s not going to have a friend and he’s not going to have a two-by-four and I’m sure he could use either one when I get my hands on him.
When asked how difficult it was to get a rematch, Sonnen again compared Silva to Tyson:
It was very hard to get the initial match. I’ve been calling this guy out for six years. They told us for years when I was growing up that Mike Tyson was the best in the world. The truth was he wasn’t even the best in the country. He never made a world or Olympic team and he could never beat Evander Holyfield who lived two states over. They just kept him away from him and lied to the entire planet and told them he was the best when he wasn’t. It’s a lot like that with Anderson. I’ve been telling him for six years I’m the best, but he’s got to hold onto the championship. They kept putting obstacles in front of me and I kept having to go through them. That’s just the way it goes. I’m not complaining about that, but that’s been my path to him, and he ducked and dodged as best he could, but he’s narrowed down now.
It's hard to say how much of that is hyping the fight, and how much of that Sonnen actually believes. To say Silva hasn't fought the best in the world is crazy. Since winning the title from Rich Franklin in 2006, Silva's defeated the likes of Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin (again), Demian Maia (who defeated Sonnen at UFC 95), Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. Silva even moved up to Light Heavyweight and knocked out former Light Heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin.
To say Silva hasn't fought the best in the world is just wrong. But that's Sonnen. Sure, he's hyping the fight. That's part of it, but you know part of him actually believes what he's saying.
Saturday night, Silva will have another opportunity to shut Sonnen up. If Sonnen pulls off the victory, just imagine the things he'll say.
Follow Brian on Twitter @coldy4goldy.