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UFC 136's Chael Sonnen's ability, not his mouth, should be the focus with win over Brian Stann


There are some people in this world who you either love or hate. 

Former number one Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Chael Sonnen is just such a person. He's become somewhat of an icon in the mixed martial arts (MMA) universe.

You may know him for his tongue-in-cheek interviews that leave fans (and often the interviewers) asking the question: "Is this dude for real?"

You might follow him on Twitter for his outrageous nuggets of wisdom or to see which fighter he'll call out next. Whether it be for his much reported feud with the entire country of Brazil or his infamous legal troubles, one thing is for certain:

Chael Sonnen knows how to polarize an audience.

However, Sonnen has tempered his shtick to a dull roar in the build up to his fight Brian Stann tonight (Oct. 8, 2011) at UFC 136 in Houston, Texas, because of his respect for the American war hero. Will it and/or a win over "All American" change the perception of Sonnen and/or his seemingly larger than life persona?

If I told you he was just kidding, would that change your mind at all? No? 

Fair enough.

If you hate Uncle Chael because of his braggadocio, you're a part of an ever-growing club. You think he brings a "pro wrestling" or circus-type atmosphere to MMA. You don't want that. Who could blame you?

He made up a story about the Noguiera brothers mistaking a bus for a horse. 

He pretended not to know that Brazil had the Internet.

He refuses to admit that Japanese MMA has ever been legitimate and taunts fighters like Fedor Emelianenko and "Rampage" Quinton Jackson for being phonies (according to Sonnen).

Recently, he remarked in an interview that he plans to visit Anderson Silva's house, kicking the door down and then patting Silva's wife on her fanny while she makes him a steak.

It's all ridiculous. It's a shtick. Some of you get it, some of you don't. 

Some of you will never forgive him for his indiscretions with Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Once a cheater, always a cheater, right?

At the end of the day, whether you dig his swagger or not, the real issue should be his ability.

Before Anderson Silva "wrapped his legs around him," causing him to tap with less than two minutes to go in the fight (at UFC 117 on Aug. 7, 2010), Sonnen had been on a very respectable win streak.

During his run, Sonnen won three fights in a row. He beat Dan Miller, Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt

Not too shabby.

If Sonnen were to defeat Stann at UFC 136, he'd be beating a man who took on enemy combatants, transported wounded soldiers, defended his men and earned a Silver Star in the process. To boot, Stann is also riding a three-fight win streak and has become a top contender in the UFC's middleweight division.

If you don't like Sonnen, you're rooting against him defeating "All American." But what if he does? Would it soften your stance or are you firmly rooted in your hatred? Is there anything this guy can do to win you Maniacs over? Would a win over Stann change your mind at all?

Your turn. Sound off!

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