Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen: 4 Reasons a Trilogy Makes Perfect Sense
There is no tougher sell in combat sports than a third fight when one man has two wins over the other. It usually takes some radical controversy, a lacklustre performance and/or genuine, bone-rattling hatred between the participants to make such a fight viable.
The only other way to sell it is if enough time passes that the two losses are forgotten and only the sting of the rivalry remains. While this seems unlikely given that Anderson Silva is 37 and Chael Sonnen is 35, take a moment to suspend disbelief and consider some reasons that a third fight between them could make major sense somewhere down the line.
It’s the Greatest Rivalry Ever
Nobody can argue it, Silva and Sonnen are the greatest rivals of this generation. Silva is the unstoppable champion, Sonnen his ultimate foil. Together they made each other better, made the sport more notable, and made a whole pile of money together.
Fans got to see two great fights and, while not immediately, would surely pay to see a third. Think of the Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz situation: a third fight was booked despite two wins by Liddell. Though it never took place, great rivals will always sell fights.
Silva and Sonnen would be no different.
The First Two Fights Were Radically Different
One substantial consideration in having this fight again somewhere down the line is how different the first two meetings were.
In the first, Sonnen did more to win than any man in history to not get his hand raised. He beat Silva from pillar to post and only narrowly missed out on gold due to some shoddy submission defense.
The second time saw him implement a similar gameplan only to have it go horribly wrong by the second round, where a vicious Silva pounded him against the cage until the ref stopped the fight.
Who’s to say how a third fight could play out? Many would pay good money to know.
There Aren’t Many Other Serious Challengers
Middleweight is a fairly thin division, perhaps due to how far above to competition both Silva and Sonnen seem to be. Silva is miles ahead of everyone, while Sonnen would be favored in basically any fight aside from one with the champion.
Given that there aren’t a lot of names out there for Silva to prove himself against, should Sonnen put together another good win streak and start his promotional engines again, it’s not out of the question that he could combine fists and mouth into a third chance at his nemesis.
Realistically, nobody is a loser when these two meet.
They match up perfectly. They sell a fight like no other combination of people in the UFC. They pay off in the cage with excitement.
The fans, the promotion, and the fighters themselves all come out ahead when Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen hook up. There’s anticipation, entertainment and probably most importantly of all money for the UFC in this feud.
It may not happen tomorrow, next year or ever. But there are definitely reasons to consider a trilogy bout between these two great middleweights.