Why UFC's Chael Sonnen Needs to Focus on Forrest Griffin
We've all seen it happen before.
In team sports, a huge favorite will ahead of their next opponent toward a more elite matchup in the future. The favorite ends up coming out flat and getting upset by the underdog.
Could Chael Sonnen be heading towards the same fate?
Let's face it, Sonnen is a huge favorite over Forrest Griffin. The Vegas line doesn't show him as the massive favorite I am going to make him out to be, but anybody who saw Griffin/Ortiz III knows Griffin's best days are far behind him.
It would be irresponsible to believe Sonnen isn't smart enough to take Griffin seriously. If I have learned anything over the years from the way Sonnen acts, it is that everything he does is calculated. It would be reassuring, however, to see him focus some of his public energy towards his upcoming fight.
Sonnen and Griffin will fight at UFC 155 on December 29. Yet we are still reading and writing about Jon Jones rejecting a fight against Chael Sonnen in an effort to save UFC 151. Sonnen hasn't said much about his fight against Griffin, and he doesn't appear to be letting go of his intentions of talking himself into a title fight with Jon Jones.
Sonnen needs to focus on Griffin because the validity of everything he says will begin to diminish should he lose this fight. Fans have soaked up the media circus Sonnen creates with his outlandish and comical statements. But what good are those statements if he goes on to lose three out of his last five fights?
A loss to Griffin will also force the UFC to throw Sonnen towards the rear of title contention for any weight class. Fans are already confused as to how he could have potentially been given a title shot against Jones.
It brings back memories of people being up in arms about Brock Lesnar getting the title fight against Randy Couture.
When Sonnen and Griffin fight, I can't lose. I have enjoyed watching both fight over the years. I would hate to see Sonnen's career fade away. I believe his creative way of presenting himself provides a huge value for the UFC.
But, if he wants to continue his relevancy in the sport, he needs to spend more time calling out Griffin and less time dwelling on a fight opportunity with Jones that never transpired.
Joe Chacon is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a Staff Writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.
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