Chael Sonnen's UFC Middleweight Championship Reign Gets Better Every Day

Jeremy Botter@jeremybotterMMA Senior WriterMay 8, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 30:  Host and mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen arrives with (L) Regan Molatore and (R) Brittany Smith at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at the Palms Casino Resort November 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There are very few things in the MMA world more entertaining than Chael P. Sonnen.

I understand that he's not everyone's cup of tea, and that's OK. If you're the kind of dude who goes Hulk Smash every time Sonnen opens his mouth, you're probably not the target audience anyway. 

Sonnen isn't targeting mixed martial arts fans. He's targeting mainstream fans, and he's done so very successfully.

Jim Rome, who hosts one of the largest sports radio programs in North America, calls Sonnen the undisputed king of sports trash talk. Coming from Rome, that's quite a compliment, considering that Rome's empire was built on the back of a legendary TV interview with former Rams quarterback Jim Everett in the mid 1990s.

The point is, Sonnen's one of the few MMA fighters to get regular play on sports television and radio. He's obviously doing something right.

On The MMA Hour on Monday, Sonnen continued a storyline that's one of the oldest in the pro wrestling storyline book—pretending he's the world champion despite losing in his title fight. 

I am the champion, so I will always have my belt. Will Anderson bring his fake belt? Yeah, he most likely will, and I think it's embarrassing he has to do that. I think what he's doing is he's seeing the influx of new viewers the FOX deal got us, he went out to do his level best to misinform the new viewers into believing he’s champion, and he went out and got himself a fake belt. I think it’s embarrassing. I would never do that. I think it's shameful. I think it's disrespectful to everything that I’ve done and I've earned in the sport, but he continues to do it. So I’m going to destroy him once and for all, finally, on July 7, live and only on pay-per-view.

I find this very hard to believe, but there are people out there who take Sonnen quite literally when he says things like this.

Case in point, I have a buddy who called me yesterday and said, "Chael isn't actually the champion, is he? Anderson beat him."

I shook my head and gently explained that no, he is not the actual world champion. He asked me why, if he's not actually the champion, does he go around saying he is?

Here's why.

At the end of the day, it's better for your bank account if you anger people so greatly that they will gladly pay $54.95 to watch you lose to the reigning champion. Without his mouth, Sonnen would've had a difficult time scoring a title shot when he did, and do you really think we'd be discussing this rematch two years later? Do you think this rematch would be one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history? 

The answer is no.

Sonnen is earning his paycheck each and every time he does media, and he's turning Silva into a bigger star in the process.

UFC 148 will be Chael P. Sonnen's crowning achievement, even if Silva knocks him out in the very first round.


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