Will Anderson Silva’s rage and hatred towards Chael Sonnen cause him to make mistakes when the two meet at UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas? Many of the mixed martial artists I have spoken to throughout the years have told me that they don’t allow their emotions to get the best of them and therefore choose to ignore their opponents verbal jabs during the build-up of the fight. For the most part Silva has done just that, picking and choosing his spots to take his own shots at Sonnen, but he never really showed any emotion.
That is until Monday’s conference call with media, of course. The Silva who promised to injure Sonnen was one we have never seen before. He surprised his manager Ed Soares, UFC President Dana White and just about every pundit who was on the call. That’s not including all of the fans who have been talking about his comments since he unleashed his verbal tirade towards the self-proclaimed American Gangster from West Linn, Oregon.
The UFC Middleweight Champion promised to knock all of Sonnen’s teeth out of his mouth as well as break every one of his limbs. He also stated that Sonnen would not be able to walk out of the cage under his own power. Has Sonnen finally got into Silva’s head? The Team Quest middleweight has been criticizing Silva’s manhood both in and out of the cage for over two years running. Has he finally pushed the Brazilian past his breaking point? If he has, is that a good thing or a bad thing for Sonnen?
We all watched in amazement as Sonnen took Silva down at will and pounded The Spider for four and a half rounds when the two first met back in August of 2010. The scorecards were clearly in Sonnen’s favor after four rounds with one judge scoring it 40-34, another 40-35 and the last scoring it 40-36. Then with less than two minutes left, Silva pulled off MMA’s version of the “Miracle on Ice” when he caught Sonnen sleeping inside his guard and submitted him with a triangle choke/armbar combination.
Sonnen has questioned how someone could beat the living hell out of another fighter for over 20 minutes and lose because his opponent held on to him for eight seconds. Last time I checked, it didn’t matter how one-sided the fight was if you got submitted you lost. This is MMA not a street fight! The dominance Sonnen displayed only led to him launching an even stronger attack on Silva. He took every opportunity he had to question Silva’s manliness by making fun of his pink t-shirts and how he wears his hat sideways.
All of that led to the Silva finally reaching his boiling point and pulling out all the stops Monday. A fired-up, focused Silva is extremely dangerous for anyone to have to face, but it’s even more dangerous for Sonnen because all that he has put Silva through. Or it could lead to Silva abandoning any game plan his coaches may have in place as he attempts to embarrass and injure Sonnen. Who will benefit most if Silva fights with all the anger and emotion he displayed yesterday? We will just have to wait until July 7 to find out.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC