The Chael Sonnen I Knew

Mike DAnalyst IJuly 31, 2010

Throughout my high school years and well into my twenties, I grew up close friends with a feisty five foot nothing, 165 pound (wearing Swat-Team Gear soaking wet) Irish kid we’re going to call “Tom” (because his legal name was Thomas and I'm trying to protect his identity).

“Tom” would help old ladies cross the street, give you his last five bucks because you were hungry, and adopt baby seals that had been viciously clubbed and nurse them back to full health…

(OK, I made the last part up)

His generosity had no boundaries. True story

for almost one year, he would sneak one of our other friends, who was quite the juvenile delinquent, through his bulk-head every night so she had a place to stay while being on the lam from the grip of D.S.S. with no strings attached, either.

That was “Tom” as we all knew him. Around the age of 17 or 18 (when we all had fake ID’s thanks to the local creepy old dude), we started testing the waters by driving a few towns over to gain access into the bars and clubs where no one knew who we were, and didn’t ask questions about why supposed 21 year-old teens had trouble growing facial hair.

“Tom” would always buy the first round, not the second, but usually the next five or six (he drank fast). After said five or six drinks, “Tom” would morph from Father Theresa into Satan in the flesh.

The first few times he walked up to the biggest “juice-head” at the bar and ran through the Bible of Mom Jokes until the inevitable

roid-rage kicked in.

The rest of us would chalk it up to “he knows there’s seven of us, and only one of him."

Roughly 75 percent of the time, we would all get corralled by the bouncers before any permanent damage occurred, and we would be off on our merry way.

At age 21 (also known as when the adrenaline rush ended by legally entering these establishments), “Tom’s” antics remained the same.

The only difference is now there were fewer of us, due to the majority being jaded by the fact that we were no longer committing a crime by entering these bars.

The end result was that “Tom” was no longer saved by myself or others taking The Bionic Man aside and making up stories about how “Tom” was just really upset about learning his grandmother passed away that day.

That poor lady died every weekend.

Roughly around the ripe old age of 25, we completely gave up on saving “Tom’s” ass.

At that point, we were basically just there to convince the 250-

pounder to make sure “Tom” was still breathing when all was said and done.

“Tom” never asked once why we didn’t step in and save him from his weekly double black eyes (think Edward Norton in Fight Club). I chalked it up to the lunatic enjoyed pain.

I’m sure Dr. Phil has a much different opinion, but let’s not split hairs.

At this point, the few people still reading are wondering what the hell this has to do with the title of the article. I’d venture to guess that these same people are either:


Very Patient



Very Bored

Regardless of what category you fall under, here’s where


Sonnen enters into the picture.

I know first-hand what happens when false bravado consumes you. For the few minutes before the obligatory right cross to the mouth dislodges your teeth, you feel invincible.

Just like “Tom”,

Sonnen spends the few precious days before the storm convincing himself the fight has already started, and he is dominating.

The poor soul must be convinced that each verbal jab is equal, if not better, than an actual leg kick.

Sonnen has mentally convinced himself that all of this nonsensical chatter has caused tangible damage to his opponent.

He believes when he steps into the Octagon on Aug. 7, the foe he is facing is truly convinced he is fighting an uphill battle.

This tactic could work with someone of lesser confidence. The entire world knows that The Spider may lack other things, but self-confidence is definitely not on that list.

Somewhere, Anderson Silva is laughing, and so am I.


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