Chael Sonnen’s decision victory against Nate Marquardt at UFC 109 secured the outspoken Team Quest fighter a future bout with the winner of the Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort title fight during UFC 112.
During UFC 109 a few nights ago, Sonnen completely dominated the fight with 158 total strikes to Marquardt’s 46 strikes. Marquardt got him in a very tight guillotine choke late in the third round, which Sonnen admitted wasn’t an ideal position to be in.
“Tapping, no,” Sonnen told MMA HQ, instead of saying he was close to “going out” from the choke.
Sonnen constantly causes controversies within the MMA community due to his very public opinion, and receives quite a bit of criticism. Although some fighters claim they don’t listen to comments and criticisms, Sonnen admits he pays attention to the talk. Specifically, Sonnen was an underdog as Marquardt was highly praised as an all around better fighter:
“I listen to them (the comments). I’m a fan, so I can’t get around the comments. His skills are his skills and my skills are my skills. Neither increase or diminishes the other thoughts.”
Sonnen has been extremely outspoken about fighting current champion Silva, even though the Brazilian fighter has dismantled opponents at middleweight and light heavyweight.
“Between the two of them, yeah. Both fights will be miserable and hard. Middleweight is by far the toughest weight class out there, so to get to the top, you have to be great and you have to expect the same from your opponent.”
Ed Soares, Silva’s manager, said Sonnen should have a rematch with Demian Maia before earning a shot at the title. Maia beat Sonnen via triangle choke submission during UFC 95 last March.
“I won’t respond. Ed isn’t in a position of power – he is in a position of opinion. Dana (White) and Joe Silva have already spoken, their word is final, my fate is set.”
Unlike many professional MMA athletes, Sonnen still holds a job and volunteers in the community.
“I don’t have a lot of options. You have to do something with your time. I volunteer in the community, but (during) nights and weekends. I have to do something during the day,” explaining the realty side job.
Sonnen will head back to work while he awaits his title shot sometime later in 2010.
I think a potential matchup between Sonnen and Silva could prove to be interesting, especially due to the high amount of trash talk from both sides.
Silva has been put on his back a few times, but manages to get back to his feet or lock in a submission to end the fight. Sonnen has incredible top control — which he’d rely on in a fight against Belfort or Silva — while also avoiding submissions.
Assuming Sonnen is able to secure a takedown, this brings up a unique scenario: Will Silva be able to stuff take downs and utilize his Muay Thai in the clinch, or will Sonnen put him on his back and use his ground and pound?
If Sonnen is able to secure a takedown, I’m unsure if he’ll be able to control Silva for 25-minutes to secure the decision victory. Silva has never given an opponent the opportunity to grind out a victory, and he dictated the pace during his lone title fight that went to decision. Five rounds is a long time to try and shoot in, secure a takedown and control an opponent.
It will be Sonnen’s job to prove all doubters wrong the next time he steps into the cage.
Until it’s time to get back into the gym and train full-time for a title shot, Sonnen will continue to campaign to become an Oregon state representative.