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In Dan Henderson, Anderson Silva Has Beaten a Better Version of Chael Sonnen

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has generally kept a low profile over the last couple months and let Chael Sonnen take the lead in hyping their August 7 fight. Sonnen has delivered on the hype department, making a bunch of preposterous and at times offensive comments about the champion.

The UFC has now released a video in which Silva responds to some of Sonnen's statement, and although Silva does blast Sonnen for the "idiotic things coming out of his mouth," the more interesting comment from Silva is the substantive analysis he makes of Sonnen as a wrestler. While Sonnen claims that Silva will struggle against an opponent with his wrestling skills, Silva notes that in Dan Henderson, he's already beaten someone better.

"Chael's saying I've never fought a wrestler," Silva says. "In my opinion, Dan Henderson is one of the best wrestlers in MMA."


Silva is right, of course. When he beat Henderson at UFC 82 two and a half years ago, he beat one of the best wrestlers in MMA -- a better wrestler than Sonnen and a better all-around MMA fighter than Sonnen. Whatever threat Sonnen poses to Silva, Henderson posed a greater threat, and Silva choked out Henderson in the second round.

And the truth is, if Henderson hadn't left the UFC to sign with Strikeforce, it would have been Henderson -- not Sonnen -- fighting Nate Marquardt for the right to face Silva next, and Sonnen wouldn't even be in the UFC middleweight title picture. Give Sonnen credit for seizing the opportunity by winning that fight with Marquardt, but let's not pretend Sonnen presents some kind of unique challenge to Silva, because he doesn't. Silva has already beaten better.

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