This is the type of fight that an all-time great like Silva needed, a win over a respected opponent in a highly publicized grudge match, and this fight may end up being the biggest win of Silva’s already historic career.
But while the champion showed us that he truly is the best fighter in the world, the challenger made a few statements of his own.
Sonnen may not have gotten the belt he wanted, but he showed the world plenty on Saturday night, and it seems inevitable that he’ll be back in the mix sooner rather than later.
For at least one round at UFC 148, Chael Sonnen backed up every second of his trash talk.
As soon as the opening bell rang, Sonnen practically sprinted to the center of the Octagon and within seconds had the champion on his back.
Taking a page out of his own playbook from the first fight, Sonnen made life miserable on the mat for Silva and slowly but surely made his way into the mount position.
While he didn’t do much damage when he was on top, Sonnen showed that Silva’s injured ribs in the first fight didn’t mean everything as he executed just as brilliantly as he did back in August two years ago.
Sure, Silva was able to fight off a few takedown attempts in the second round, but no one lands everything they throw and unfortunately for Sonnen, he didn’t have enough tools at his disposal to win the fight.
In case you haven’t noticed, Chael Sonnen can turn into a pro wrestling villain if you ask him the right questions.
Sonnen has completely revolutionized MMA trash talk over the last few years, but despite all of his memorable quotes he’s given, he reminded us tonight that he is still a good guy when he turns his act off.
Sonnen was extremely gracious in defeat, making sure to point out that he respects Silva and the Brazilian fans at the post fight press conference, and he even went out of his way to try and eliminate any controversy regarding the stoppage of the fight when Silva landed a knee to the body that looked awfully close to being illegal.
Overall, Sonnen showed a ton of class tonight after losing one of the most tension-filled fights of all time.
The first round saw Chael Sonnen give Anderson Silva more trouble than any fighter since, well, Chael Sonnen.
A lot of people point to Chael’s wrestling as just a horrid stylistic matchup for Silva, but the fact is that Sonnen is a terrible matchup for anyone in the middleweight division.
In all honesty, the top contender that has the best chance at beating Sonnen is probably Michael Bisping, who excels at scrambling back to his feet when taken down, but Sonnen defeated Bisping as recently as January and there aren’t a lot of fighters who match up well with “Uncle Chael” near the top of the division.
Unless a guy like Mark Munoz or Chris Weidman is able to turn the tables on Sonnen and put him on his back, it could be a matter of time before Chael finds himself back in the title hunt.