Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. Nate Marquardt was supposed to tear through him like paper. Sonnen was supposed to get dominated. Marquardt, being the well-rounded fighter that he is, was supposed to out-strike Sonnen and hold him in check with his Jiu-Jitsu.
Nothing could have been farther from the end result. Chael Sonnen fought with an intensity not seen by many. It was a very hard fought victory. By the end Sonnen was battered and bloody, but he had won.
Marquardt just couldn't account for his wrestling. Sonnen took Marquardt down at will, keeping him there for the majority of three rounds. From the top, Sonnen landed a heavy dose of punches and elbows, and even received some from Marquardt.
He escaped from two very deep guillotine chokes, and even managed to survive the final ten seconds, when Marquardt was on top, raining down punches. During his post-fight interview, Sonnen looked as though he had a hard time standing.
He ate two big knees from Marquardt when shooting, and the elbows he took to the face were very strong.
Chael Sonnen could pose some big match-up problems for Anderson Silva or Vitor Belfort. Both have shown weaknesses to good wrestlers. Silva was manhandled for the first round of his fight with "Dangerous" Dan Henderson. Henderson is a very good wrestler himself.
I think Sonnen can repeat his performance over either of these fighters. Why not? What's not to like about him? Are his wins over top contenders Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt not enough? Marquardt himself said he didn't think Sonnen was a worthy opponent for him. Sonnen thought otherwise, and now he has a title shot.
Look out for Chael Sonnen, people. This guy could be the only person to match up with Vitor Belfort or Anderson Silva. And, as Joe Rogan likes to say, we will look forward to seeing him again.
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