Chael Sonnen's much anticipated championship showdown with Anderson Silva is no joking matter.
Despite all the pre-fight trash talk, Sonnen is taking Silva very seriously. Second chances don't come around often in life, and Sonnen doesn't plan on wasting his at UFC 148 on Saturday night.
In an episode of "UFC Primetime," the self-proclaimed "Oregon Gangster" was shed in an entirely different light. Fans no longer saw the jokester cutting WWE-like promos and dropping memorable one-liners.
The world got a glimpse of the real Chael Sonnen, a man who has dedicated his entire life to being a world champion.
I've been paying the price since I was nine years old when I started. I've sacrificed everything, and I would give everything I've got, everything, I'd give it all back, to be world champion for one night.
To most people, Silva is unstoppable at 185 pounds. The reigning middleweight champ has dominated his division for nearly six years.
Perhaps it was Sonnen's unwavering mindset that allowed him to find success where others couldn't at UFC 117. He came within two minutes of his dream becoming a reality, but Silva was able to rally in the final round, latch on a triangle choke and the rest is history.
When the rest of the world looks at Silva, they see an image of greatness that may never be toppled, but at UFC 148, Sonnen will be looking to fight the body, not the hype.
I hear all sorts of hype about who's great or who's the best. The reason that stuff just doesn't work is I see those reputations get shattered here. I watched champions, I watched Olympians, I watched gold medalists break and become cowards in a practice room. So many people can't understand why I'm not buying into the hype, but I'm not fighting the hype. I'm fighting the body. How hard can he push? How hard can I push? How bad does he want it? How bad do I want it?