UFC 148 Fight Card: Questions We Would Love to Ask Chael Sonnen
Asking Chael Sonnen a question is a lot like interviewing Jekyll and Hyde.
Part Chael Sonnen and part Chael P. Sonnen, Sonnen has established a split personality with Chael P. , giving media members solid gold soundbites.
And while it provides great entertainment, sometimes you'd rather hear Sonnen's true "voice of reason." Without any hype nor marketing techniques, it'd be nice to hear real talk from a real man heading into his bout against Anderson Silva at UFC 148.
With that in mind, these are the questions fans would love to ask Sonnen.
What Happens When You Can't Get the Takedown?
Let's keep it simple and blunt—what happens if you can't get the takedown?
Already, Silva fans are drooling at the thought of Sonnen failing to get this fight to the ground, because we all pretty much know what will happen next.
Did Sonnen get the better of Silva on the feet last time? Sure, but even Michael Jordan had off games in his career. Whether it was due to the rib injury or if he completely underestimated Sonnen, Silva wasn't the human highlight reel he normally is that night.
Having said that, Sonnen's pressure won't allow Silva to pick his shots like he normally does, but he's still a deadly striker. Heck, his 18 career knockouts speak that loud and clear.
So if Sonnen's unable to take him down early, does he have a plan B? Or will his fate be like his training partner Yushin Okami at UFC 134?
Are You the Greatest Trash Talker in the History of Combat Sports?
Alright Chael P., this is your chance to shine.
Asking Sonnen if he's the greatest trash talker in the history of combat sports should bait him into going on a tirade of epic proportions.
From talking about Silva to the entire country of Brazil, Sonnen would most likely deliver a speech worth repeating. And quite frankly, that's what's gotten Sonnen to the big dance.
As great of a fighter as Sonnen really is, he's made his greatest impact on the sport via microphone. And you know what, that's not such a bad thing. The sport needs men like him to generate buzz around their fights to further grow the interest in MMA, and Sonnen's doing an incredible job.
Because he is so good at cutting promos, it's hard not to ask him a question that his alter ego, Chael P., could turn into a platform for his outlandish trash talk.
Are You OK with the Possibility of Being Remembered for Your Mouth Only?
Was it all worth it, Chael?
Let me rephrase that question—will everything you've said and done to provoke Silva and his country be worth it if you fail on July 7?
Perhaps the smartest fighter the UFC has ever seen, Sonnen's been able to market himself like none other before him and quite possibly none after. It's made him a lot of money, and you better believe it will make him a lot more following UFC 148.
But the real Sonnen is a competitor. A man that doesn't want the fame and the money, but he wants to be remembered as a great fighter and a champion.
"I'm in it for the accomplishment. I've wanted to be world champion since I was a little kid," Sonnen said in a more serious sit-down interview.
Are You in Silva's Head?
Sonnen might very well be the first fighter in the UFC to get in Silva's head.
You've all heard the media conference call by now, and we can all agree that Silva's barrage of insults toward Sonnen is something that UFC fans have never seen before.
Silva is always quick to turn the cheek and let his opponents say whatever they want heading into a fight. Heck, he did it in his first bout with Sonnen at UFC 117.
So Silva's different route and choice words for Sonnen gives reason to believe that Sonnen is in Silva's head. Which, in turn, means it's a fair question to ask Sonnen.
And asking such a question to Sonnen should generate another memorable quote from the gangster hailing out of the mean streets of West Linn, Oregon.
Are You at All Fearful That You've Ignited Silva's Drive?
If I had to guess how Sonnen would answer this question, he'd most likely genuinely not care.
The reason for that is because Silva being angry only hurts Silva. Sure, he might come in more focused and more determined to knock out Sonnen, but he was going to do that anyway after getting dominated for nearly five rounds in their previous fight.
Most bad blood feuds are won by the fighter that can control his emotions and fight with controlled aggression.
So if Silva has this pent-up rage inside of him, it might cause him to tense up and go head hunting for the knockout.
But then again, we are talking about the greatest fighter of all time. If anyone can channel their emotions in the Octagon, it would be Silva, and the extra motivation Sonnen has created could have helped him in training camp. But does Sonnen regret giving him that extra drive?
Do You Ever Just Sit Back and Laugh at Your Material?
Let's be real for a moment—Sonnen's trash talk is hilarious.
Often times, people are so sensitive that they can't appreciate a good joke. We see this all too often in the sports world. In fact, this summer, Vanderbilt's head football coach James Franklin had to apologize for saying that he hired his assistant coaches by how good-looking their wives were.
It was funny and it was obviously a joke, but good ol' USA was offended. And though talking about a man's wife and insulting an entire country is going too far, Sonnen's had some funny MMA-related remarks throughout the years.
The whole "black belt under the Nogueira brothers is like saying I got a free toy in my happy meal" comment was actually quite humorous. Sure, he disrespected a legend in the sport, but people disrespect people every day, and at least the comment was witty.
It's not easy to picture Sonnen sitting in his room writing down lines for his next public Q&A giggling to himself.
Seriously, Have You Ever Thought That You Wasn't Fighting a 100% Silva?
One of the main storylines following UFC 117 was that Silva had a rib injury.
Silva said that his doctor asked him not to fight with the injury, and he did anyway for the UFC and for the fans. So if Silva is telling the truth, Sonnen didn't face the greatest fighter in the world fully healthy.
Does that take away from Sonnen's swagger? Does it diminish his dominant performance against the greatest champion in UFC history? Eh, it's debatable.
Everyone's going to have a strong opinion one way or another, but it'd be nice to hear what the real Sonnen has to say about that.
But knowing how he answers questions, he'd probably say something like, 'I'll show you if it diminishes my previous performance or not on 7/7 at 7 p.m. in the Pacific."
Could You Drop the Act and Explain Why You Need This Belt?
For a fight as big as Silva vs. Sonnen II, the UFC's Primetime show was good, but not as spectacular as one would hope.
However, there was one piece in the episode that stood out tremendously. If you haven't seen the episode, click play on the video embedded in the slide and skip to the 10:48 mark.
You'll find Sonnen saying, "I don't need anything, but I need that championship belt. I have to have it. This will all be for nothing, it will all be a failure if I don't win that belt on the seventh of July." And no, it wasn't Chael P. cutting one of his dazzling promos either. Rather, it was Sonnen being real with himself and everyone else.
The reason he needs this belt is already well documented. Sonnen promised his father on his death bed that he would win a championship, and that's an accomplishment that he has officially yet to do.
What a sweet moment it would be to see Sonnen truly open up and talk about what the belt means to him in terms related to his father.