Two-time UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen thinks current divisional champion, Chris Weidman, has Anderson Silva's number, regardless how many more times they fight.
Talking to Dave Meltzer and MMA Fighting, "The American Gangster" voiced his opinion that the legendary Silva's time at the top has come and gone.
"Well, here’s what you’ve got to understand, he got knocked out cold," said Sonnen. "It’s not like a Mike Tyson fight where you get hit, you stay down until the ref counts ten, and then get right back up. Silva had two choices in that fight. He’d have fought serious and got beaten up, or he’d clown around and get beaten up. That’s not me speaking out against Anderson. He’s excellent. But Anderson’s not Chris Weidman and he’s never going to be."
Weidman handed Silva his first knockout loss in 38 career fights at UFC 162. It snapped Silva's 17-fight win streak, which included 10 successful title defenses of the UFC middleweight strap.
The bout did reach a clear resolution to some. Silva excessively taunted "The All-American" throughout the matchup, leaving his chin wide open for the finishing blow early in the second round.
Clearly, Sonnen does not believe his former Brazilian rival's antics made a difference one way or another. Sonnen, who says he's now a full-time 205-pounder, gave an ambiguous answer on whether or not "The Spider" is past his prime.
Again, what is clear is that Sonnen doesn't believe Silva will ever be able to avenge his loss to Weidman.
"I don’t know if he’s in the downside of his career," he said. "He’s just not Chris Weidman. He just stuck around too long and the next generation is here. There are guys who can beat him, but only a couple of guys. He’s a top ten fighter, actually he’s ranked No. 2, but he’s not going to beat a 28-year-old All-American wrestler named Chris Weidman. That’s not going to happen."
UFC President Dana White announced Weidman vs. Silva II on SportsCenter last week. The rematch takes place at UFC 168 on December 28, once again at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
While many fans and analysts believe Silva will easily defeat Weidman in the rematch if he taken seriously, Sonnen strongly disagrees with that theory.
Of course, Sonnen, a former All-American wrestler in his own right, isn't the most unbiased party in the matter. He battled Silva for the middleweight title on two occasions, UFC 117 and UFC 148, getting finished both times despite showcasing his superior takedowns and top control in each matchup.
After getting crushed by champ Jon Jones at UFC 159 in April, Sonnen looks to show he is still relevant at light heavyweight with a victory over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC Fight Night on Fox Sports 1 in August.