Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen: Essential Guide to Saturday Night's Fight
Are your juices flowing yet? We are in the final 24 hours before the hyper-anticipated UFC 148 Pay-Per-View event, and the rematch that is two years in the making.
As a way to prepare you for the mega-fight that lies ahead, we present to you a cumulative history of Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen.
In this article, we will cover everything from the first fight, to a recap of the infamous rivalry, to the milestone moments along the way and even the weigh-in cheap shot that Anderson took only a few hours ago.
Most of our loyal B/R MMA readers will be familiar with a good majority of the contents of this article, but for any newcomers, this is your essential guide to Saturday night's main event.
Chael Talks Trash
Leading up to the event, many were concerned about public interest in the event. Silva had just turned in a critically panned performance against Demian Maia at UFC 112, in which the champion spent the final two rounds avoiding contact as much as possible. Who would pay to see Silva fight someone who had a 4-3 record in the company?
It is an undisputed fact that Chael Sonnen has the bigger mouth than any other resident of West Linn, OR. Nothing was off limits to the American Gangsta. Leading up to the fight, Sonnen would make disparaging remarks about a plethora of topics.
Sonnen on Silva's training partners, The Nogueira Brothers:
(Anderson Silva’s) got a black belt under the Nogueiras. I think a black belt under the Nogueiras is saying, like, I got a free toy in my Happy Meal. I don’t really understand what the big deal is. One of em’s a punching bag, and the other one I just ignore; he’s really irrelevant.
Sonnen on Brazilian culture:
“Brazil isn’t a bowing country. You bow in Brazil they’ll hit you over the head and take your wallet out of your pocket.”
“Greetings from Sao Paulo! I’m learning the language: breakdancing in the Special Olympics is called Capoiera and cocaine is called brunch.”
Additionally, comments made by Sonnen at a UFC Fight Club Q&A session can be found in the video above. Somehow, the wrestler from Oregon would help to generate an impressive 600,000 PPV buys on an event lacking a major co-main event.
The First Fight
Before we go any further, if you have yet to see the first battle between Silva and Sonnen, it is absolutely essential that you do so. If you've already seen the fight, feel free to watch again, or go ahead and skip to the next slide.
Chael's Drug Test, Anderson's Rib Injury and Other UFC 117 Fallout
After the first fight, it was announced that Sonnen would receive an immediate rematch due to his excellent showing at UFC 117. However, Anderson Silva's camp reported that the champion entered the battle with a rib injury, and that he would be out until early 2011.
With that being said, a return fight was expected for UFC 125 in January. However, Sonnen would not be eligible to fight at that event due to a failed drug test stemming from the first contest.
Sonnen became the first high-profile example of a fighter using testosterone replacement therapy (or TRT) to elevate his testosterone levels heading into a fight. Sonnen would claim that his use of TRT had been discussed with NSAC commissioner Keith Kizer, however, the salt-and-pepper haired spokesman would claim that Sonnen is a liar.
Chael would eat a one-year suspension, and the rematch was off the table. In the meantime, Anderson Silva defeated Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami in subsequent title defenses.
The Rematch Is Booked
Since returning from his suspension, Chael Sonnen was able to defeat top 10 Middleweights Brian Stann and Michael Bisping. After each fight, Sonnen would call out Silva in hopes of garnering a rematch.
The win over Bisping was enough to earn his rematch, as the UFC announced that Silva and Sonnen would do battle once again when the UFC returned to Rio at UFC 147.
When venue issues arose, the fight was moved to UFC 148 in Las Vegas, much to the chagrin of Silva, who fought Dana White verbally for three hours in hopes of preventing the change.
In the end, UFC 148 had a new main event, and July 4th weekend just got a little more exciting.
Chael Talks Trash: The Sequel
What does Chael Sonnen do once he gets his title shot? What else? Talk trash!
Sonnen decided that he liked seeing The Spider worked up. To make sure that he lived up to the pre-fight antics of their original battle, Sonnen turned his attention to another member of the Silva household.
You tell Anderson Silva I'm coming over and I'm kicking down his backdoor and patting his little lady on the ass and I'm telling her to make me a steak, medium-rare just how I like it.
The disrespect that Sonnen showed for Mrs. Silva was too much for the champion, who stated that his challenger had crossed a line.
Anderson Fires Back
Now that Silva was fired up, how would he respond? In the buildup for UFC 148, we found out.
The following audio was taken from a media call for UFC 148. The first minute of the audio is Anderson Silva speaking in Portugese. Silva's manager Ed Soares translates:
Chael is a criminal. He's been convicted of crimes. He doesn't deserve to be in the Octagon. When the time is right, I'm going to knock all of his teeth out. I am going to make him eat these words he has said about me and about the UFC. This is the end of the jokes, no more talking.
What I'm going to do inside the Octagon is something that's going to change the image of the sport. I'm going to beat his ass like he's never been beaten before. I'm going to make sure that every one of his teeth are broken, his arms are broken, his legs will be broken. He's not going to be able to walk out of the octagon by himself.
I'm going to beat him maybe the way his parents should have beat him to teach him some manners… I'm going to beat him up like he's never been beat before. He can say whatever he wants, but I'm not playing any more.
The Steven Seagal Factor
There is a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor surrounding this fight, as many do not know how seriously they should take one of Silva's new coaches, famed B-film actor Steven Seagal.
Seagal is a 7th degree black belt in Aikido and should not be taken lightly by any means, but the 60-year-old celebrity had become somewhat of a punchline in his later years.
When the Under Siege star claimed that he invented the front kick that Silva used to defeat Vitor Belfort, the world rolled it's eyes and assumed that Seagal was having some fun at our expense.
Heading into UFC 148, Seagal has now made claims that he has taught Silva to utilize techniques that were believed to be illegal, but upon further review, are allowed inside the Octagon.
Do you take Seagal seriously? I'm not sure how I feel, but I definitely wouldn't make fun of a man who starred in the film Today You Die!
The Weigh-in Incident
Go ahead and check out the original article regarding tonight's weigh-in drama.
Only a few hours ago, Anderson Silva would make waves in the final hours leading up to the big rematch. After both men successfully weighed in for their title bout, the champion squared up with Sonnen and used his shoulder to deliver a jab to Sonnen's jaw.
Between the violent threats and the pre-fight assault, it appears that Sonnen has gotten deep into Silva's psyche. Will that work in his favor, or will it somehow cause the champion to be more dangerous than ever?
The UFC: Primetime Special
If you still aren't hyped up enough for this event, here is the UFC: Primetime special for UFC 148. Following both members of the main-event through their pre-fight agenda, you get an inside look at each man leading up to their epic confrontation.
The Countdown Show
If you STILL haven't seen enough to get you excited for the most anticipated fight in MMA history, here is the UFC: Countdown to UFC 148. Hearing Joe Rogan passionately break down the first fight and the rematch is enough to put any fan on the edge of their seat.
I hope that this article has prepared you for the incredible main event that we are expected to see tomorrow night. If you'd like to read more of my articles, follow me on Twitter at SaundersMMA.