In Anderson Silva
's last three UFC middleweight title fights, he's spent a lot of time inviting his opponents to come after him so he could counter-strike them, only to grow bored (and make many fans grow bored) when Patrick Cote, Thales Leites and Demian Maia never took the bait, and Silva never turned into the wrecking machine he's capable of being.
All that is prologue for Silva's next title defense, against Chael Sonnen
, and Sonnen is doing everything in his power to portray himself as the man who will make Silva pay for his actions.
"You've got to fight him," Sonnen said of Silva in an appearance on HDNet's Inside MMA
. "I've only seen Anderson in two fights in the last four years. I've seen guys that wanted their names on posters and they wanted to go out there and headline a show, but they didn't go fight. I'm going to go fight him."
Sonnen promised that Silva won't have the chance to dance around in the Octagon because he'll have his hands full when they meet on August 7 in Oakland.
"He's not going to fight the air against me," Sonnen said. "He's not going to be dancing and juking and jiving, just in the air like a guy doing a kata. I'm going to have my hands on him, pushing and pulling and wearing him down. If he's got an answer for that then good for him. He'll leave there with the belt. And if he doesn't, he's going to come in second. Either way he's going to be in a fight. If he taunts me and tries to goad me into doing something, it's going to work. If he taunts me I will come right after him. If he wants to throw those punches, I'll be right in range for him to hit me. But when that bell goes off, I will walk right across that ring and get in his face."
I'm skeptical that Sonnen has much of a chance against Silva, but Sonnen does know the right way to sell a fight with Silva. If Sonnen keeps talking like this for the next three months, he's going to sell a lot of pay-per-views.