UFC 136: Why Chael Sonnen Deserves a Shot at Anderson Silva with a Win

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2011

The main card of UFC 136 is just an hour away and—if you're anything like me—you've all got butterflies in your stomach right now.

This is sure to be a fantastic night of fights and it's arguably the most stacked event the UFC has put on so far this year.

One of the most looked-forward-to fights on the card is Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann.

Sonnen is one of the most marketable and interesting fighters on the UFC roster and this will be the first time he's stepped into the Octagon since fighting UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 118.

Despite testing positive for banned substances after UFC 117, Sonnen is still highly respected for his performance against Silva. He was the first fighter in a long time to bring the fight to Silva and give the champion a run for his money.

Since that fight, Sonnen has stated on multiple occasions that he would like to fight Silva again and, if he is victorious tonight against Brian Stann, there is a very good chance that Uncle Chael will get that opportunity.

However, many fans have expressed that, even with a win tonight, it is too soon for Sonnen to get another crack at the middleweight crown. After all, he would only have won one fight since he last faced Silva.

While that is a reasonable argument, I believe Sonnen deserves another shot at UFC gold—if he can get past Stann.

The UFC is having trouble finding viable new opponents for Silva, considering that he's already defeated almost every legitimate contender in the division, and Sonnen is one of few marketable opponents left for the champ.

In fact, saying that a Sonnen vs. Silva rematch is marketable doesn't do the bout justice.

The first fight was so exciting and Sonnen is so good at hyping fights that a rematch between these two men would be arguably the most anticipated rematch in UFC history.

Marketing aspects aside, Sonnen deserves a rematch because he has come much closer than anyone in the UFC to defeating Silva.

At this point, when Silva steps into the cage, fans want to believe that his opponent has a real chance of beating him, and that's a hard thing to sell.

In short, Sonnen should get a rematch with Anderson if he wins tonight because he'll have just defeated an extremely tough opponent, it's a marketable rematch, and Sonnen might be the only man in the middleweight division with a legitimately good chance of beating the long-time middleweight champ.

Be sure to check out Bleacher Report for all things UFC 136. B/R is your home for MMA, from pre-fight predictions to in-fight coverage , live results and post-fight analysis...which you can check out on our UFC 136 event hub.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacherreport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AndrewBarr8