"I'm a Republican."
That was always Chael Sonnen's rationale for not wanting to fight off his back, for failing to concentrate his training on Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
It was a good line, but there was a ring of truth to it as well. Sonnen's game was shallow. He was a wrestler who wanted top control. From there he would pound away with punches, often en route to a decision win. Anything else left him vaguely uncomfortable.
Sonnen didn't just take Mauricio "Shogun" Rua down. He leapt to guard to finish with a guillotine, voluntarily putting himself on his back. It was a bold move from an increasingly bold fighter.
Conventional wisdom said Sonnen didn't have anything to offer as a light heavyweight. Too small. Too one-dimensional. Too old and set in his ways.
But against Rua, Sonnen showed that you can teach an old dog new tricks if you try hard enough. Sonnen has always had a good bark. Now, it looks like his bite is catching up, and he obviously comes out as one of Saturday's winners. We'll break down all of the winners along with the losers from UFC Fight Night 26 in this slideshow.