"Anderson Silva, you suck!" These were the exact words out the mouth of UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen during his brief post-fight interview with Joe Rogan inside the octagon at UFC 136 in the Toyota Center last evening.
Following a destructive performance over the hard-hitting and rising star Brian Stann, Sonnen ignored Rogan's questions during the interview and cut to the chase.
Obviously not a fan of "The Spider," Sonnen elevated the stakes of their future matchup by stating, "Super Bowl weekend...the biggest rematch in the history of the sport. I'm calling you out, Silva. I beat you, you leave the division. I lose, I will leave the UFC forever."
These strong words and the entertaining delivery by Sonnen immediately following his submission victory over Stann parallel the hype and superfluous self-promotion depicted in the WWE for years.
The Rock was famous for his classic one-liners: "Do you smell what the Rock is cooking," as Dwayne Johnson raises his right eyebrow. Or, "It doesn't matter what you think," a classic Rock comeback that was one of my favorites.
The self-promotion by Sonnen is a brilliant marketing maneuver. After he called out Silva, the Internet is abuzz with the statement he made following his victory at UFC 136.
This growing buzz will ultimately culminate into a thunderous media blitz leading up to the rematch. This tactic not only guarantees that Dana White makes this rematch happen on Super Bowl weekend, but Sonnen will be paid generously for his efforts.
Brock Lesnar is no stranger to self-promotion. With entertainment in his veins as the WWE champion for years, Lesnar's arrival into the UFC was showered with hype and interest unlike any other competitor.
Lesnar leveraged his immediate popularity into tremendous paydays. Lesnar's payout at UFC 100 in his rematch with Frank Mir earned the avalanche of a man a nice $400,000 salary in only his fifth professional fight.
To place Lesnar's earnings in comparison, Mir earned $45,000 for the seven-minute pummeling he endured at the hands of Lesnar in his 16th professional fight.
Mir earned one-tenth the salary of Lesnar with almost three times the experience fighting for the UFC.
Lesnar followed up his huge bank deposit from UFC 100 with a reported $475,000 payday at UFC 116 when he defeated Shane Carwin—who, by the way, earned one-tenth the salary of Lesnar.
Why the difference in salary? Because Lesnar puts fans in the seats and is a huge pay-per-view draw. In short, Lesnar makes White and the UFC more money than any other superstar.
Fast forward to October 8, 2011, and Sonnen is following the same marketing formula as Lesnar.
Polarize the fans, force the hand of White by calling out Silva in front of millions of spectators, continue to talk trash against Silva, the entire country of Brazil, or anything deemed un-American by Sonnen and watch the zeros collect at the end of Sonnen's next payday.
Sonnen is a number of things—arrogant, and not politically correct high on the list. He harbors a loathing for Silva like no other and has engaged in illegal activity both in and out of the octagon. But what Sonnen is not, is stupid.
A tremendous wrestler with an ability inside the cage unparalleled by any other grappler, Sonnen will continue to push for this rematch and be awarded a hefty payout because of the mass appeal this Washington native now has by polarizing the millions of UFC fans.
Stay tuned as this story continues to unravel. In the meantime, enjoy the numerous future sound bytes that will surely be provided by Sonnen over the next few months.
I welcome your comments.