Since Chael Sonnen defeated Nate Marquardt for a shot at Anderson Silva he has become more and more of a household name. It started with Sonnen’s trash talking, but after the first fight we see that Sonnen deserved to be there.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the first fight between Silva and Sonnen, but one thing we can’t take away from Sonnen is the fact that he was able to take Silva down and hold him there. Sonnen didn’t just lay on Silva either, for four and a half rounds Sonnen was able to inflict huge damage on Silva. He’s the first fighter in Silva’s UFC career that was able to control the champ for an extended period of time.
If you choose to believe that Silva really had a severe shoulder injury in the fight then you can, I do not believe this though. It seems Silva’s manager Ed Soares has been making excuses during every fight recently. When Silva wins he’s never 100 percent and Dos Santos hurt his knee prior to his title fight with Cain Velasquez. My point is the excuses keep on coming and injuries and raised testosterone levels can’t be the only credit Sonnen is given.
If Sonnen wins the rematch it sets up what could be the biggest trilogy in the history of the UFC. This is truly a battle of two fighters that hate each other and with Sonnen he is someone who isn’t afraid to say it. What if Sonnen loses though?
A lot of fans believe Sonnen will lose as do most analysts, but he isn’t getting a fair shot by the public. Assuming he does lose it puts him in a tough spot with the UFC. Sonnen would probably be the Jon Fitch of the middleweight division although a better talker, but would not be getting a title shot with Silva again.
Sonnen would serve as the gatekeeper of the division and fighters like Lombard, Boetsch and Munoz would have to go through him to earn a shot.
Without the possibility of the middleweight belt the Sonnen schtick fades away. No one has interest in seeing a middle of the road fighter that talks trash like it’s his job. Right now it’s fun and interesting, but without a title it’s just stale.