When I snap my fingers, you will see a picture of Chael Sonnen by Mark J. Rebilas via US PRESSWIRE. (snap)
Chael Sonnen is one of the most polarizing figures in mixed martial arts (MMA) today. With his quick wit, razor-sharp tongue and knack for selling a fight, or just simply telling it like it is, Chael has transformed himself into one of the most talked about fighters in the sport.
When not bashing Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and his relevance to MMA, Sonnen entertains fans and media alike with his wrestling-style promos and stand-up comedy when answering most of the questions aimed at the "American Gangster."
So when the number one 185-pound contender gives an interview or makes an appearance, be it on a radio show, press conference or nationally televised program, fans tune in, ready to be entertained with cleverly expressed sound bytes.
Ahead of his highly-anticipated rematch against "The Spider," which is set to go down on July 7, 2012 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sonnen made an appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience."
During his time spent with Rogan, a very honest Sonnen strayed away from his usual comedic punch lines and revealed a "secret" he says he's been carrying with him for some time and showed a rather different side of the rabble rousing republican.
The secret, says Sonnen, is the reason why he went from a talented top 10 level fighter, to the number one middleweight contender you see today.
Make the jump to see for yourself:
"For me, I had a fight with Yushin Okami who was ranked number two in the world and I was one of those guys that was kind of looked at in the top 10. That was right before I fought Nate Marquardt and it gave me a lot of confidence, but here is what happened Joe. I have never lost a round of fighting, and when I say that, sometimes a guy will laugh because I have lost fights. But, I've never lost a round. I've never had a fight where a judge ever scored a round against me until my last match with Bisping. At the point of your story, though, I sit down one day, and I'm on Sherdog.com, and I'm looking at my record. I've won every round I have ever fought. I've never been in a tough fight. I've never had stitches, I've never broken anything, I have dominated everybody and I've lost eight fights, and I've lost all of them by submission and I've lost all of them in the second round. And I'm staring at that on the computer and I'm staring at these numbers like a CEO would his spreadsheet. And I'm saying, 'There is something going on here and it's not physical. There is something going on that I can dominate eight minutes of a fight, seven minutes of a fight, nine minutes of a fight and find a way out time after time after time in the same round with the same move.' So, I went and got help. I went and got professional help and I sought out a doctor, Ed Versteeg. I hate talking about this because this was a real secret. This was a real turning point for me was when I went in, worked on sports psychology and got hypnotized. I was never the same. I was never the same in practice, my attitude was different. Controlling my diet, being discipline, falling asleep, the way I approached battle, the way I approached the second round. Everything changed, and it changed to the point where, I hate to say what I just said and now it's too late because I felt like it was my secret. I discovered something and I don't want other people to know. I will write about it someday in a book, I will talk about it you know, when I'm retired , but I'm not going to tell anybody because it's competitive edge. So when I started seeing a sports psychologist and I finally came clean, it's like being an alcoholic, before you can get help, you have to admit you have a problem. When I finally admitted I got a problem, when I finally said, it, when I finally could acknowledge it and look somebody in the eye and tell them this is what's going on, I'm finding a way to lose as opposed to win. I work harder than these guys. I been at this longer, I know how to stop submissions, I'm finding my way into them, I'm finding a way out and that's what's happening. I had to acknowledge that and once I did it, I never lost again. I lost to Paulo which was the controversial one and then I lost to Anderson after dominating him, I've never been beat since I saw this doctor."
It's rather refreshing to see that such a shadowing figure in MMA can indeed show vulnerability. He is, after all, just a human, and despite his never-ending quips, he is not afraid to be up front and honest about such a well kept secret.
After apparently figuring out the source to his past issues, Sonnen has been on a roll and will have yet another chance to prove to himself (and to the world) that he indeed is the number one middleweight on the planet by defeating the man who has been occupying his mind for the last couple of years in "Sin City."
But will it all pay off when he faces off against his arch-nemesis on Fourth of July weekend? Or will Silva prove that he has what it takes to defeat the powerful wrestling stalwart one more time?