Although he would undoubtedly tell you otherwise, Chael Sonnen is not the most interesting man in the world. He is, however, one of the more interesting men in professional fighting, specifically his chosen field of mixed martial arts (MMA), and, even more specifically, within the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
And that's because it's hard to know exactly how to feel about him and his future prospects.
Going into last night's (Sat., Aug. 17, 2013) UFC Fight Night 26: "Shogun vs. Sonnen" event at the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts, the "American Gangster" was riding a two-fight losing streak and was 2-3 in his last five bouts. The thing about it, though, is those losses came to Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, two of the greatest in the game today, and even all time.
So it's hard to gauge.
Then, Sonnen goes out and taps Mauricio Rua within the very first round after uncharacteristically pulling guard and sinking in a deep guillotine choke. That submission victory was so impressive, it apparently opened many doors for him, according to UFC President Dana White:
Really, that shouldn't come as a surprise, despite his two losses coming into last night's 205-pound showcase. Sonnen called out Wanderlei Silva and has since faced callouts from Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, and even Phil Davis.
All of whom are now solid options for a dance with a suddenly in demand fighter whose career looked to be coming to a close, or at least his ability to draw fans. After all, you can't lose twice in a row in decisive fashion and maintain your reputation as a badass from Oregon, can you?
It turns out, you can, assuming you can choke out legends like "Shogun" on your way back to relevance. Add in his uncanny ability to sell fights and his natural charm as an analyst on Fox, and Sonnen has many options indeed.
But which would you Maniacs like to see?