You knew that when Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua reluctantly tapped out to a Chael Sonnen guillotine when they fought earlier this month, that it would only be a matter of time before we heard Chael Sonnen talk again. After the win against Rua, Sonnen has earned the ire of Brazilians from several different weight classes, but Sonnen has apparently settled on his choice of opponent – Wanderlei Silva. Sonnen has asked that the UFC name Sonnen-Silva the co-main event of the UFC 167 card scheduled for November and headlined by the George St Pierre versus Johny Hendricks Welterweight title fight.
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UFC President Dana White is in favor of the matchup, however it appears that Silva is on the shelf with an injury until next year. The ‘Axe Murderer’ was last seen in March of this year, when he earned a KO victory over Brian Stann. Silva has also been one of the most vocal Brazilians in fighting the war of words with Sonnen.
For Sonnen it is a smart call, as the other Brazilian calling him out right now is Vitor Belfort, and the Silva fight is a much more winnable fight for Sonnen. Do not be mistaken, Sonnen got a taste of winning again in his last outing, and he knows nothing will keep him relevant longer than putting a winning streak together.
Despite his win, and his legendary career and fighter mentality, Sonnen is right about a lot of the things he says about Silva. Like it or not, SIlva is 4-5 in his last 9 UFC fights, and he has been showing slippage in those fights. Against Stann he was able to summon the ‘old’ Wand and notch a KO win, but those moments are fewer and farther between for Silva nowadays.
Getting the takedown against Silva wont be easy. Sonnen would really benefit from a co-main event spot, ie- 3 rounds. Sonnen will have to avoid Silva’s aggression and can perhaps key off of that to get a few easy early takedowns. He will have to stay busy and do damage, but he wants Silva on the ground and off his feet as much as possible.
It is a dangerous match still, as Silva has KO power and has traditionally been hard to keep down for a prolonged period of time, but Sonnen is making a smart call as Silva’s liitations and ring wear will likely make him a favorite when the lines open at the books, be it for November or for sometime next year.