Chael Sonnen is truly one of the most entertaining fighters in the sport today.
Not only is he one of the best middleweights on the planet, with impressive wins over Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami and most recently Brian Stann, he was a minute and 50 seconds away from dethroning reigning division champion Anderson Silva back at UFC 117.
He is also equally entertaining outside of the Octagon.
With his knack for hyping and selling a fight; whether you're a fan or not, when he talks, you're likely to listen. Coming off of his second round submission victory over the "All American" at UFC 136, Chael wasted no time in calling out his Brazilian nemesis by delivering one of the best post-fight speeches in promotion history.
Chael challenged Silva to a high stakes fight and the stipulations were simple: Should Anderson lose, he leaves the middleweight division. But if Sonnen loses, he would hand in his resignation papers and leave the UFC forever.
Unfortunately, Silva did not respond to the challenge and the offer eventually expired.
From the Twitter boards to nationally syndicated radio shows, the self-proclaimed "America Gangster" from Oregon has done his part to get a rematch with "The Spider," and though his target refuses to cooperate in a back-and-forth, Chael has no plans on letting up anytime soon.
Take a look.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): First off, congratulations on your big win against Brian Stann at UFC 136. How was it having to face a man that you consider a friend and respect so much?
Chael Sonnen: It was a challenge. It was business. Football players don't get to opt out of a game when they play against a buddy, and this sport shouldn't be any different. I faced Brian Stann like an opponent as a statement to Blackhouse and all of the fighters that make nonviolence pacts over their best friend's collages. It's nauseating.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): What's your take on so many fighters today refusing to fight "friends" or people they have trained with in the past?
Chael Sonnen: They should go get a job at a sorority, or move to California and register at Macy's. They make a mockery out of athletes everywhere. If they want to pretend that this isn't a bloodsport, that's their problem. They shouldn't make the rest of us real competitors look bad. I'd fight any one of my friends any day at any time, because I respect them.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): Many people say your "Achilles heel" is Jiu-Jitsu. What do you say about that, do you feel that is an accurate assessment?
Chael Sonnen: Sure, whatever you say. I'd say that I have better things to do than beat the guy across the cage from me with an inefficient and unsophisticated modern fad that help effeminate men feel tough. Jiu-Jitsu, Tae Bo, no difference. I prefer the ancient sports, like wrestling. If it wouldn't show up in a Ridley Scott movie, I won't do it.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): You're no stranger to hyping up a fight or "trash talk." In fact, some say you're the best at it. Do you consider it trash talking, promoting or just speaking the truth?
Chael Sonnen: I would call it divine inspiration. I am moved to rage poetry by the idiocy, hipocracy, and flat-out laughable people and situations that I see in MMA these days. I can't NOT call them for what they are: idiots doing idiot things because they're idiots.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): I assume you're not one to take it personal when someone returns the favor, have you heard or read any of Mirko "Cro Cop's" comments about you in a video interview he had? If not, here a few excerpts. He said, and I quote:
"You can tell by his face that the man is slow. That he is stupid and that that he has the IQ of a child's shoe size. That man holds a PhD in idiocy"
"I'm only sorry that he is missing like 30 pounds because I would beat his ass so bad, he would multiply 3 times. In anger I would beat him up so bad that I would split him apart. I would clone him in 3 specimens. I hope to one day see him summering in Croatia so I can Iron his ass, so that steam will shoot out his pompous ass."
How do you respond to comments like that from a man many consider a legend in the sport?
Chael Sonnen: Remember a few years back when the only thing the guy could say in English was, "I like to kick?" Man, he must have hired an entire bus of writers to help him with that one. And I'm not so okay with his constant comments about my ass. Is that an Eastern European thing?
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): Would you be open to a fight with Mirko?
Chael Sonnen: Not now that he's retired. I don't kick three-legged puppies. Actually, now that I think about it, I couldn't fight him on those grounds even if he WASN'T retired. I would probably just back-hand slap him. It wouldn't hurt him too badly, but it would put him in his place.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): Okay, let's turn our attention to one of your favorite subjects, Anderson Silva. You had one of the most memorable post- fight speeches after your victory at UFC 136 aimed at Anderson, was that off the cuff or did you have it pre planned?
Chael Sonnen: I have never stopped thinking about how much he absolutely sucks. I spent years just getting him into the cage with me, and he's going to avoid me this time as well. I had to throw down the gauntlet, just to see if he was man enough to take the offer. His silence tells you everything that you need to know.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): You said you made that speech as "bait" for Anderson and that the offer expired as you recently stated on the Jim Rome show. Do you have another offer up your sleeve to try and lure Silva into finally accepting the fight with you?
Chael Sonnen: I could offer him the entire state of Oregon and he would dodge me. But yes, I do have plenty of bait to try on him. Believe me; you'll know it when you see it.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): You are arguably the most deserving to take on Anderson Silva, given the fact that you were minutes away from winning the belt at UFC 117 and you just beat a man who was considered in line to be number one contender in Brian Stann. How upset would you be if the UFC decides to go another route as far as a challenger for Anderson?
Chael Sonnen: They have to come back to me eventually. No one has come as close as I have to dethroning him, and no one will. Eventually the fights will get so much MORE boring than they already are, and they will have to give me my rightful fight.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): Ed Soares recently stated that you needed to get to the back of the line in order to challenge Anderson because you had your chance and blew it. He also said you should be in jail and not fighting. Care to comment on those statements?
Chael Sonnen: I didn't blow anything, thank you very much. I just took a hiatus to make the rest of my life less important than fighting. My fight against Stann didn't highlight me as a better fighter than anything the world has ever seen, and if Ed can't see that then he will eventually have to deal with Uncle Dana and the American public beating down his door with torches and pitchforks.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): Dana White recently said "I'd be stupid to not make that fight" referring to your rematch with Silva. Have you had any discussions with the UFC matchmakers regarding a possible date and if you indeed are next for Anderson Silva?
Chael Sonnen: We're thinking about my birthday next year in Portland. There will be fireworks, go-go dancers, exploding cars, and a Brazilian sacrifice. I will parade Anderson's unconscious corpse around the Rose Garden to celebrate.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): You left the fight with Stann rather unscathed. If the match-up against Silva does not happen right away due to his shoulder injury, would you take another fight in the interim possibly at super bowl weekend, maybe against Vitor Belfort or Wanderlei Silva; or would you wait on Silva as long as it takes?
Chael Sonnen: Let me ask you something: when you have a big project or plans for a big goal, do you let yourself get derailed by a whiny coworker that always finds an excuse to shovel work on someone else? NO! You do your work, you beat your obligations senseless, you shine like a pagan sun god, you make that whiny prat look foolish, you take their job, you laugh as they leave with a box of their effects, and you comfort their obviously unsatisfied wife by taking her out to dinner. I'm not cooling my heels just because Anderson's are kicked up on the sofa.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): Would you be open to the possibility of coaching opposite Silva in The Ultimate Fighter?
Chael Sonnen: No, not ever, not even on my birthday. I take coaching seriously, and a run on "The Ultimate Fighter" is as much about forging a new group of coworkers and competitors as it is about me turning the opposing coach into floor pizza. Coaching against Anderson would be a disservice to my team, because they would spend the entire time fighting against a team that would be as poorly trained and poorly prepared as their coach. My team would get out into the real UFC, see what they're up against, and blame me because I didn't prepare them enough, and I would feel guilty because I wouldn't have had the authority to bring in a real coach to train real competition and truly prepare them for a real fight.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): What's your relationship like with Keith Kizer and NSAC?
Chael Sonnen: You do remember that when I promised to do this interview, you agreed to mention www.athletebay.com and to wish Kala Haley a happy anniversary, right? Well when are you going to do it? When are you going to say "www.athletebay.com" and, "happy anniversary Kala Haley?" Ahh forget it, we can do www.athletebay.com and Kala Haley's anniversary another time.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): You laid out the blueprint on how to compete with Anderson Silva when it seemed that no one could even touch him. Right now, no one seems to have a good plan on how to get close to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. How would you go about trying to defeat his style?
Chael Sonnen: Substance always beats style. Enough said.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): After you complete your goals at 185, will we ever see you possibly move up in weight to challenge the light heavyweights?
Chael Sonnen: I'm an athlete. Fat kids fighting over a Milky Way isn't athletic. That's baseball.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): What is one thing in mixed martial arts today that you would change?
Chael Sonnen: I would ban the triangle choke, the refuge of cowards everywhere.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): Who is the one fighter that you have looked up to and absolutely respect?
Chael Sonnen: The same one you do, Chael P. Sonnen.
Adam Guillen Jr. (MMAmania.com): When it's all said and done and your fighting career has come to an end, what do you want people to remember you most for? What will define Chael Sonnen?
Chael Sonnen: Genius, arrogance, dominance, flawlessness, and Anderson Silva's brief but uneventful funeral.
Chael Sonnen: I am a huge supporter of MMA, as well as mania. They incorporate two of my favorite things.
Sonnen is currently waiting patiently for an opponent, preferably Anderson Silva.
In the meantime, make sure to catch Chael co-host the 2011 World MMA awards by Fighters Only Magazine alongside Molly Querim on November 30, 2011 live from Las Vegas at the Pearl Theater inside The Palms Casino Resort.
The event is set to air via delay on FOX sports regional networks and Fuel TV.