UFC 134: Sonnen Says Yushin Okami Should Be 'Clear Favorite' over Anderson Silva

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent INovember 30, 2016

Chael Sonnen has never been one to hesitate in vocalizing his beliefs, and he believes UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva being favored over top contender Yushin Okami is an absolute injustice.

"Yushin's got to be a clear favorite. Yushin's much better than Anderson. Yushin beat Anderson the last time they fought," said Sonnen in an appearance on Bruce Buffer's "It's Time" show on the Sherdog Radio Network.

"It's real hard to imagine how Anderson would win, but that doesn't mean he can't. He's pulled it off a few times before. I think the hardest part in selling this fight, as they say, is convincing people that Anderson's actually got a chance."

Okami and Silva last squared off in January 2006 at Rumble on the Rock 8, where Silva was disqualified for landing an illegal upkick that left Okami unable to continue.

Five years later, Silva has broken a plethora of UFC records, secured a world title and crafted one of the greatest legacies the sport has ever seen.

Okami's UFC tenure has been impressive as well. He carries a 10-2 record inside the Octagon, with his only losses coming to Sonnen and former middleweight champion Rich Franklin.

A former opponent, Sonnen now trains alongside Okami and is expected to corner him in the championship bout at UFC 134 on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which should serve as a significant story in itself.

Since losing to Silva in August 2010, Sonnen has unleashed Armageddon in verbal attacks on the champ, Black House gym and the entire country of Brazil.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Silva has taken great offense to Sonnen's comments about his country and teammates.

As far as the fight is concerned, there is some validity to Sonnen's madness.

Silva is the proposed pound-for-pound kingpin, but like every other fighter, he has his weaknesses. A consistent weakness in The Spider's game has to be his wrestling.

Sonnen dominated Silva for four and a half rounds with relentless takedowns and suffocating top control. Okami will present Silva with similar problems. He's a strong wrestler with nasty ground-and-pound and shutdown top control.

The primary difference between Sonnen and Okami is the Japanese star's underrated Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Okami is a very intelligent fighter on the ground, and Silva shouldn't bank on late fight heroics in this fight. He's going to have to get after Okami early and stay off his back.

The winner of this fight could face the winner of the upcoming bout between Sonnen and Brian Stann at UFC 136. Sonnen has already stated that he doesn't have any qualms about facing his teammate, but he would love to get another crack at Silva.

The world may have anointed Silva as the greatest fighter on the planet, but Sonnen isn't quite ready to cave into the masses. When asked to predict a winner in a dream fight between Silva and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Sonnen didn't have to think long before answering.

"I think it would be one-sided...a very easy match for GSP," Sonnen said.