So much has been said about the match up between middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and division number one contender Chael Sonnen, but no one has said more than Chael Sonnen. Ever since he upset Nate Marquardt back at UFC 109 in February, Chael has been on a crash course road to the Champion; calling him out on every chance he gets, about everything he can think of. Anything from Silva’s clothing, his attitude, his lack of English speaking with the American media and he also had arguably had the best post-fight comments about Silva’s performance against Demian Maia at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi last April. That was a fight Chael could have entered had it not been for a nasty cut he suffered in the Marquardt fight weeks earlier. We all know how UFC 112 turned out.
Ever since the fight at UFC 112 Anderson has been put in an interesting spot. Not only does he have to deal with his next opponent bad mouthing him worse than anyone he’s ever faced before, but he also has had to deal with question after question about his performance that night and why he acted the way he acted. There’s been a noticeable change in the champion as well.
At the fan expo event prior to UFC 114 Anderson did a very interesting interview with Ariel Helwani where Anderson showed a little more character than we’ve ever seen before, as well as emotion towards Chael Sonnen and what Sonnen has been saying. When asked by Helwani if any of the talk from Sonnen has bothered him he answered back with a simple “no”. Not only that, but while his translator/manager Ed Soares was translating the question to Silva he did a nice fake tremble; possibly a shot at Sonnen to show that the talk really has got him “shaking in his boots”. To make it even better, Helwani then asked him this:
“Well he says he’s gonna figure you out. He’s the one that’s gonna bring the fight to you and beat you. Do you feel as though he brings anything to the table? Is he a true test to you?”
And again, while Soares was translating the question back to Silva, he began more mockery by covering his mouth as if he had a secret, then he shook his head and almost looked like he felt bad for what he was going to have to do to him. He stuttered a bit but eventually spit out, “it’s fine, it’s ok. No problem”.
The part that Sonnen should definitely take note of is when Helwani replied with “So you will solve this problem in August?”, and Anderson answered back with a huge smile and a nod of his head. The Champion is in rare form in this interview. I recommend anyone looking to analyze this fight to watch it.
Could it be that Anderson has been pushed a little too hard this time? Could it be that all of this talk will make Anderson even more of a monster than we all know he can already be? Is he going to bring it to the next level against Chael Sonnen, if only because of all the talking that Chael has done? And for Chael, he’s got the added pressure of having to back up such big talk. Keeping in mind, some of what Chael has said has been enlightening; like his confession that he has had conversations with Anderson in perfect English and that he knows Anderson doesn’t respect the American media. But this is coming from the guy that denied having a twitter account after plugging it in interviews several weeks prior.
A lot of what Chael has been saying is about the personal quest that he is on as an athlete and human being. He’s called it his “moral duty” to beat Anderson Silva. It’s his dream to become Champion. What Chael needs to realize come fight time is that none of that matters. He may have said it best last week when he said Anderson will probably be the better fighter that night, but what really matters is what happens inside of those 25 special minutes. Those 25 minutes are going to tell the world, Anderson Silva, and Chael Sonnen a beautiful story come August 7th.