OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 07: Chael Sonnen walks to his corner in between rounds of his fights against Anderson Silva during the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at Oracle Arena on August 7 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
After Chael Sonnen submitted Brian Stann at UFC 136 last October, UFC President Dana White said he would be "pretty (expletive) stupid" not to make a 185-pound rematch between Sonnen and Anderson Silva.
"The Spider" was able to successfully defend his middleweight championship with a fifth round submission win over Sonnen back at UFC 117 in August 2010; however, he endured four and a half rounds of lopsided abuse before pulling a last-minute rabbit out of his hat.
Simply put: Sonnen came closer than any previous opponent to dethroning the pound-for-pound king.
So why aren't they fighting? Well, for starters, Silva has been sidelined with multiple injuries in the wake of his UFC 134 title defense over Yushin Okami and is expected to be on the shelf until at least June of this year.
Secondly, Ed Soares, manager of the Brazilian bomber, "worked diligently" behind the scenes to help eliminate his client's two biggest threats. One of them was Sonnen and the other was fellow middleweight contender Mark Munoz.
Sonnen breaks it all down during his recent appearance on UFC Tonight:
"It's real simple. I want the title. I want to be champion. I don't want it just because I want a belt, I want to be the best. I want to look in the mirror and know I'm the best in the world. If I can't beat Mark Munoz, then I'm not. Munoz and I aren't fighting because this is the match that made sense. We're fighting because Anderson doesn't want to fight me. Anderson trained with Munoz, he got destroyed by Munoz, he doesn't want to fight Mark. Ed Soares, Anderson's manager, worked diligently behind the scenes to make Mark and I fight each other. So I don't have a big problem fighting Mark. my resentment is that Anderson got his way."
See video of Sonnen and Munoz talking UFC on FOX 2 (and a whole lot more) after the jump.
For more on Chael Sonnen vs. Mark Munoz at UFC on FOX 2, which goes down on Jan. 28, 2012, from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, click here.