UFC 117: Has Chael Sonnen Turned The Fans Against Him

Tony PrestonCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2010

For many fans, a lasting image from UFC 112 is Anderson Silva dancing around and avoiding the fight.  This led to the fans booing Silva and cheering for Damien Maia.

Dana White made the statement after the fight that he was embarrassed by Silva antics and vowed to cut Silva from the UFC if anything like this ever happened again.

Silva's actions at UFC 112 also led to Internet message boards filled with hate for Silva and gave Chael Sonnen more ammo for his trash-talking arsenal.  Chael Sonnen came to the UFC from the WEC and instantly began saying that he was a better fighter than Silva.

Sonnen was submitted in the first round by Maia, however, in his first UFC fight.  Sonnen then went on a three-fight win streak, taking all three fights by unanimous decision.

After the debacle of a fight at UFC 112, it was revealed that Sonnen would be the next challenger for the Silva's middleweight belt.  This led to Sonnen increasing the amount of trash talking.

At first, it seemed that Sonnen was trying to sell a fight to the fans, and many fans probably hoped Sonnen would win due to Silva's antics at UFC 112.  As the fight grew closer, the more Sonnen talked.

In an interview with Larry Pepe, Sonnen did not only rip Silva, but also Lance Armstrong.

Sonnen went as far as to say that Armstrong gave himself cancer by using performance enhancing drugs, and then instead of coming clean, used it to make a profit.  Sonnen has since, in an interview with Ariel Helwani, denied making those remarks or even talking to Larry Pepe, despite video and photographic evidence.

Now, fans are left to ponder who to root for this Saturday at UFC 117: A man who was unwilling to engage and danced around the octagon infuriating fans and UFC head Dana White, or a man who seems to be willing to say anything to get fans to pay attention to him, including making wild accusations about a man many Americans respect, and then denying making them despite clear evidence.