Today's MMA Thought of the Day is about Chael Sonnen. More specifically, it is about Chael Sonnen and UFC 167 on November 16th in Las Vegas. As a ticket holder for UFC 167, I have been eagerly anticipating the official announcement that The American Gangster has been added to the card (presumably in the co-main event slot). Chael brings an air of excitement to every event he is a part of through his pro-wrestling style promos and nonstop trash talk. Sonnen is the kind of fighter I like. He fights as much as he can and he isn't afraid to call someone out. It seems like too many fighters today forget they are in the 'fight game' and won't step too far out of line. Perhaps the current landscape of the UFC is to blame with their '2 losses in a row and you're gone' policy that seems to be quite prevalent today (although being an exciting fighter can and will keep you around longer even if you lose).
The trash talk and promos are a big reason I was hoping to see Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva. Sonnen and Silva have been going back and forth at each other for quite some time now. Sonnen has called out Wanderlei multiple times with the most recent call out coming after his first round submission victory over Wanderlei's fellow Brazilian and 'henchman' according to Sonnen, Shogun Rua. Silva initially turned down the fight. Dana White stated Wanderlei wouldn't fight without PPV points. Silva then posted a rambling video from a creepy basement somewhere in which he tells Sonnen he will destroy him, break his nose, and then calls him butt face (although I'm guessing something got lost in translation...at least I'm hoping) all while awful metal music plays in the background. Nothing strikes more fear in the heart of a fighter than an angry Brazilian in a basement calling them a butt face. Unfortunately for now, that fight is off the table as Wanderlei is apparently recovering from a back injury according to Dana White and will be out of action until early 2014.
Following the collapse of that potential match, another match that had been looked at was Sonnen vs. Phil 'Mr. Wonderful' Davis. Phil Davis has been climbing the light heavyweight ranks and most recently won a decision victory of Lyoto Machida. Talk of that fight happening at UFC 167 bubbled up and then it seemed to quickly fizzle out.
Sonnen recently further took the matters into his own hands (like he typically does) and unexpectedly asked (rather than his typical call out) Rashad Evans what he was doing on November 16th via Twitter. Evans said he was up to nothing and that a fight with Sonnen sounded good to him. Evans is coming off of a recent decisions victory over Dan Henderson. Today the announcement came down that the Sonnen vs. Evans fight will be taking place at UFC 167 and it will be at 205lbs.
While I was hoping to see Sonnen take out someone he actually has issues with, any fight involving Sonnen is sure to be entertaining (at least leading up to the fight). I feel, however, that Chael will probably be more toned down towards his opponent since they are friends and do work together for Fox Sports.
Is this the best match we could have hoped for? Worst? Somewhere in between? What do you think?
Word Punch MMA