Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen: 3 Reasons We Don't Need a Third Fight
The second meeting between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen may have not lasted as long as their first encounter, but there was no shortage of drama. Sonnen dominated the first round of their fight at UFC 148 but eventually faltered in the second round.
In an almost eerily similar manner as the first bout, Silva overcame Sonnen's wrestling to secure another decisive victory.
Despite two finishes by the champion, the amount of intrigue and dollars are likely to at the very least make Dana White ponder the idea of a trilogy bout between the two men. There's no question Sonnen can sell anyone on a fight, but should there be a third meeting between the top two middleweights in the world?
The answer to that question should be an emphatic "no" for a number of reasons.
3. Chael Sonnen Is Officially in the 'Jon Fitch Zone'
After two decisive defeats Chael Sonnen has found himself in the "Jon Fitch Zone." Like the best friend zone with a love interest, it's not a fun place to be.
Sonnen's place as the second best middleweight in the world is cemented, but he has no way of advancing himself into title contention as long as Anderson Silva is champion. Unless Sonnen changes a weight class like Rich Franklin before him, he has nowhere to go but down in the middleweight division.
His credibility as a title challenger has all but ceased to exist and where Sonnen goes from here is anyone's guess. Sonnen will need a few days to collect his thoughts after losing the biggest fight of his career.
Sonnen can defeat any of the best middleweights in the world based on his wrestling alone, but without the possibility of a title shot in his future, is that worth the work? We could see him move back up to 205 pounds, but his size advantage would be virtually neutralized by moving up a weight class.
There's a number of avenues to take for Sonnen to get out of the limbo he now finds himself in, but the Oregon-native must make a choice of beating guys at 185 pounds or making a title run at the next weight class up.
2. The Rivalry Is Over
After months of trash talking from Chael Sonnen, Anderson Silva finally exploded over the past week leading up to the fight. Making promises of hurting Sonnen in ways that MMA fans couldn't imagine, fans were expecting to see Silva's greatness on display.
The two men refused to touch gloves prior to the fight, but once the combat was over, the two adversaries shook hands as Silva seemingly buried the hatchet with his rival. The Brazilian even went as far as to say Sonnen could come over for a BBQ in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
I'm sure medium rare steaks would be on the menu.
It's clear from the actions of both men following the fight that the animosity has been put behind them. Sonnen did an amazing job of hyping himself and the rivalry with Silva over the past two years, but after two losses, he really can't keep up the charade of insulting the champion.
It was a great two years for MMA fans to witness some of the best quotes in the history of the UFC, but it seems as if the two men have at least reconciled their differences and moved on from this heated rivalry.
1. Chael Sonnen Has Lost Twice in Convincing Fashion
Chael Sonnen put together two strong showings against champion Anderson Silva but still saw the Brazilian's hand raised at the end of the night.
The first meeting saw Sonnen dominate the champion through a number of 10-8 rounds and beat the champion in every facet of the sport. Yet, Sonnen's Achilles heel, his submission defense, failed him once more as Silva secured a triangle with only minutes remaining in the fight.
In the second meeting, Sonnen once again dominated Silva in the first round, but this time saw the champion end his night with a knee to the body followed by a series of punches that caused the referee to intervene.
It'd be one thing if Sonnen lost a pair of split decisions, but he lost via submission and TKO. There's no argument left for fans to make as to why Sonnen would defeat Silva in a third meeting.