The man and the myth of Chael Sonnen is almost a double entendre.
On one hand Sonnen is the best wrestler in the UFC, though sometimes Sonnen’s mouth has an “insert foot here” sign taped across it.
Sonnen genuinely believes that he is the “Peoples Champion.” I guess Sonnen doesn’t realize that he is considered the villain in most of his matches and is frequently booed upon entry and exit from the octagon.
Before UFC on Fox 2 Sonnen emphatically declared “fighting Chael Sonnen is dangerous for your health.” Apparently Michael Bisping’s medical staff did receive the memo.
Bisping held his own against Sonnen during Saturday night’s contest. Many would even argue that Sonnen dropped the 1st two rounds and lost a close contest to Bisping. Both rounds were close though and were a matter the present judges’ jurisprudence, of sorts.
Unfortunately for Bisping, the judges valued take downs highly.
Dana White always suggests that fighters never leave a decision in the hands of the judges, especially when a title shot is included in the implications.
Bisping again learned this lesson on Saturday.
Early in round one Sonnen scored a few take downs but failed to do any major damage. Bisping, for the most part, held the edge for the rest of the round by grappling against the cage.
To be fair, I believe Sonnen did enough to win the round but the case for Bisping could easily be made.
Round two was close as well but it is generally believed that Bisping successfully won the round with his grappling and dirty boxing. Sonnen won round three easily. He dominated by taking Bisping to the ground and beating him up.
He left no doubts about who won the third round.
Sonnen’s victory sets up a compelling re-match with pound for pound champion, Anderson Silva.
Sonnen is certainly confident that he can win, stating “I can beat any man that God created,” in a pre-fight interview. But Silva is a divine task for anyone in his weight class.
Immediately, since Sonnen presented Silva with his toughest UFC match, questions and opposing fodder amongst UFC viewers arose.
Will Sonnen be able to get Silva to the ground as easily again?
Is Sonnen really as good as he thinks that he is? He now has his chance to prove it.
If Sonnen takes Anderson to the ground, will he be worried about submission attempts and not be as agressive?
Can Anderson Silva be beaten?
And most importantly,Will Sonnen continue to wear his People’s Champion belt if he wins the title?
Sonnen is the consummate jerk. He is arrogant. And he is delusional about his talent at times.
But besides being the best sound bite in the UFC, he is also one of its best fighters. He present a great challenge for Anderson Silva. And I am just looking forward to the fireworks.