Photo of Steven Seagal by Esther Lin.
Perhaps the most anticipated rematch in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history, if not all of modern mixed martial arts (MMA), is a mere 19 days away as Anderson Silva will defend his Middleweight title against Chael Sonnen, the man who was minutes away from dethroning him at UFC 117 just two years ago.
In what truly is one of the most heated rivalries in MMA, the two elite 185-pound fighters will lock horns at UFC 148 on July 7, 2012, in what will hopefully put an end to their bitter feud that has been the reasoning behind many of Sonnen's quick-witted and well delivered promos.
Sonnen took "The Spider" to the limits in Oakland, Calif., in their first encounter, but in the end, one lapse in concentration from Sonnen was all it took for the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt to slap on a fight-ending triangle, keeping his 12-fight win streak alive, as well as retaining his strap (again).
If their first battle is any indication, the fight world is in for a treat on Fourth of July weekend.
However, Steven Seagal -- who is better known for his action films with more than 40 movies to his credit and whom has spent time "training" the Brazilian, as well as other Black House team members -- seems to think otherwise.
That's because Seagal feels that the playing field will be even this time around.
Check out what the action movie star (via The MMA Hour) had to say about the "unfair advantage" he feels Sonnen had over Silva at UFC 117, as well as his assessment on current UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
"Chael last time had an extremely unfair advantage. Because, you know, that whole deal with I don't know what it's called, steroids, or whatever, performance-enhancing drugs or whatever. ... I think this time, probably he'll be a little more careful with that, and I think that will even the playing field. Let's just say this, I think this time, they're both going to be at their best. I don't think there's going to be any controversy, I don't think there's going to be any injuries. I think two great fighters are going to go out there and have it out, and I think my guy's going to win. My guy's going to win handily this time."
Sonnen was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission after the UFC 117 fight with Silva because of elevated testosterone levels.
Since that controversy erupted, Sonnen revealed that he suffers from a medical condition known as hypogonadism, which has its fair share of critics. Nonetheless, he was issued a conditional Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) for the looming rematch by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) a few weeks ago.
Seagal also took the time to give his thoughts on current UFC 205-pound champion Jon Jones, saying he doesn't feel "Bones" is necessarily better fighter than Lyoto Machida, a fighter he has spent time "training," too, even though Jones has already defeated "The Dragon:"
"I respect every fighter that goes out to the Octagon, I don't think (Jones') punches or kicks landed well. Do I think he punches or kicks well? No, not at all, and that's just my opinion. He's a very big guy, he's like a heavyweight. He's 6-4, very athletic and very strong. Is he a better fighter than Lyoto? No. Not even close. But that doesn't mean he can't win."
When asked if a dream fight between Jones and Anderson would make sense, Seagal had this to say:
"It's such a huge difference in strength and size and weight. I don't know what's fascinating for fans to see. And I said (Jones) is a heavyweight. He said he was going to challenge Junior dos Santos, if he really said that, he should do it. He's already cleaned out the (light heavyweight) division, there's no one left to fight him."
Though many fans have been hesitant to receive Seagal with open arms into the MMA world, he is currently a 7th-degree black belt Aikido.
We know you Maniacs have a response to Seagal's comments, so lets hear them.