Chael Sonnen: Why He Needed To Lose To Anderson Silva To Be Great

David PachecoCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2010

UFC 117 Main Event: The Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva, arguably one of the greatest MMA fighters in history, against No.1 contender, and accomplished amateur wrestler, Chael Sonnen. 

While there have been some hyped fights in the previous months, this one in particular has been on everyone’s radar for some time.  Some of it, a lot of it, may have had to do with the amount of trash that Sonnen talked before this fight.  It was impressive or ridiculous, depending on which corner you were aligning yourself with.  

Like Sonnen or not, we were all listening, not that we had a choice.  Anytime Sonnen had the opportunity, the camera or the microphone, he was letting the world know his thoughts on Silva. 

Most fans and writers alike, summed it up as, this is who Sonnen is.  He is a no respect, trash talking nobody that is going to get smashed by Silva.  While the trash talking was entertaining to say the least, we all knew Silva was going to, and should win this fight.  

By the beginning or the end, depending on how you look at it, we were all tired of hearing it, and ready to see this fight happen. 

And did it ever. 

From the very start, Sonnen went right at Silva, just liked he had promised, and kept going after him.  In the first minute of the first round, he had actually had Silva looking like he was going down. 

The fight continued with Sonnen on top of Silva for most of the fight, and most of the MMA fan base in a bit of shock.  While I have read multiple arguments that, “this is what a BJJ incredi-god” does, and “Silva was doing this to make it interesting”, really?  You are only fooling yourself.    

Sonnen was literally wining this fight, on the score cards and in everyone’s mind.  Now understand, I am not downplaying Silva at all, he is Anderson “The Spider” Silva, but I believed I was watching the upset of the year happen. 

While time was winding down in the fifth, it finally happened, Silva waited for the moment and caught Sonnen being sloppy, and that was it.  Silva once again showed why he is the Champion. 

 Some argue that is the difference between a BJJ Black Belt and a very accomplished wrestler, and I cannot argue. 

Silva took some great shots from Sonnen, we all saw Silva’s head bounce off the mat a couple of times, and Silva hung in there.  On the other hand, Sonnen’s face was busted up pretty good. 

Again, attribute it to Silva’s expertise in the martial arts, and being able to fight from your back.    

It was a great fight; Sonnen kept his word and took the fight to “The Spider”.  After Sonnen tapped, regardless of what you say or write here on B/R or any other site, he earned respect from fans abroad. 

Including Silva. 

A Champion does not lay the Championship belt and his Black Belt down in front the competitor and literally bow down to him.  While Silva does bow, this was taken a step further and the ultimate sign of respect. 

If Sonnen had won this fight, he would still be regarded as a great fighter that beat Silva for five rounds, but everyone would have played it off as luck or Silva’s lack of aggression, or something else. 

Sonnen could not have asked for a better situation.  Everyone respects him a little more; he had the chance to showcase his skills on the main stage, willingness to walk away from the fight, and the one thing we did not expect, a legitimate opportunity and argument to challenge Anderson again.