UFC 117's Chael Sonnen: Antagonist or Genius?

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UFC 117's Chael Sonnen: Antagonist or Genius?

Leading up to his highly anticipated title fight with Anderson Silva, No. 1 middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has been on a verbal tear, doing his best to drum up hype for his headlining battle at UFC 117.

The Oregon native has been a media gift from God, bundled with an endless amount of degrading, often times hilarious, sound-bites about his opponent Anderson Silva—a smorgasbord of entertainment.

“What’s on special today?” a customer of the UFC 117 Publicity Buffet might ask. “We’ve got an all-you-can-eat bonanza of Chael Sonnen quotes,” responds a UFC PR waitress.

If you have surfed the web and searched for any UFC 117 keywords in the last five months, you were bound to come across Mr. Sonnen’s quotes on various topics involving one of the pound-for-pound greats.

The shrapnel from Chael's verbal campaign has spared nobody. While Silva might be Sonnen’s principle target, he holds no punches back when discussing “The Spider’s” entourage—fellow UFC training partners from Black House and manager Ed Soares.

Silva’s Black House comrades, in particular Rogerio Nogueira, have voiced their own opinions of Sonnen, coming to the defense of their fellow Brazilian. Lil Nog has been quoted saying that he is confident that Anderson will kick Sonnen’s glutes and shut his mouth. At the end of the day, what is he suppose to say? Despite the predictability of Lil Nog’s comments, it certainly got a response from Sonnen.

On top of everything, Silva has decided to take the high road by appearing humble and quiet, allowing Sonnen to assume the position of lead maestro in this ongoing battle of words.

What has changed in the decorated wrestler from Team Quest? As a professional, he’s never been one to shy away from speaking his mind, but at the same time, he has never really been known for his all out trash talking either.

So why the sudden increase in negative verbiage from Sonnen? When understanding a headlining fighter’s intentions, you have to consider two crucial motivators leading up to the bout: strategy and hype.

Whether or not Sonnen actually has this deep-seeded animosity towards the middleweight champion, is beside the point. Silva has something every challenger wants—the shiny gold strap that signifies that he is the cream of the division.

Regardless of how the fans and spectators perceive Sonnen’s antagonistic attitude, people will agree that the results of the fight will expose the risk and reward element of his game. If he does precisely what he has promised, then he will feel more than justified while sitting on top of the world.

On the other hand, if he suffers an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Anderson, fans will have a hard time taking him serious from there on out.

One of the great things about the sport is most speculations are laid to rest after the final bell, the final strike, or the final submission.

Despite what side of the fence you find yourself in regards to this impending championship bout, we can all agree that Sonnen might have a bright future in broadcasting—the man has said some humorous stuff.

Now, let us all laugh at some of his best rants of the last five months.

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