The Doggy Bag: The Silva-Sonnen Edition

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Dentist’s Chair

By Sherdog.com Staff Jul 1, 2012



Everyone answers to somebody, so we, the staff at Sherdog.com, have decided to defer to our readers.

“The Doggy Bag” gives you the opportunity to speak about what is on your mind from time to time. Our reporters, columnists, radio hosts and editors will chime in with their answers and thoughts, so keep the emails coming.

In this edition, readers are predictably filled with excitement regarding UFC 148 and more specifically, Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen’s middleweight title rematch. With excitement comes emails, and with this slate of your digital ink, Sherdog staffers have the year’s most anticipated fight covered from every which angle you have conceived of.

Ahead, we’ve got everything from Anderson Silva’s UFC 148 conference call craziness and proclamations of amateur dentistry to Chael Sonnen’s potential for all-time greatness to future 185-pound contendership after the superfight in “Sin City.”

I’m hearing a lot of talk about how Anderson went off on Chael during the conference call recently. The general consensus seems to be that Anderson was the wrong guy to piss off and that he will have the extra motivation to dispatch Sonnen in quick and impressive fashion. Is it just me, or was the last time Anderson got really offended and emotional the fight versus Maia? While I don’t see Senor Chael doing the butt scoot, I would hate to see another horribly boring fight with Anderson making a show of dominance instead of actually trying for the finish. Thoughts? -- Tim from Chester

Jordan Breen, administrative editor: An interesting thought. However, when you talk to folks close to Silva, and even Silva himself, about the Demian Maia fight, they see it as some kind of aberration, a moment where Silva’s desire to embarrass Maia -- infamously leading to the all-time-level MMA meme “Where’s your jiu-jitsu now, playboy?” – overcame sober reason.

More than that, Silva’s desire was to shame Maia and it seems to be his desire to do serious grievous bodily harm to Chael Sonnen. Speaking of his conference call rant, what is it with Brazilians and threats to do psycho ish to people’s teeth? You might recall Wanderlei Silva threatening Sonnen with dental violence in the past. Then Anderson says he’s going to rip Sonnen’s teeth out. Sherdog has a video interview up now with Nova Uniao leader Andre Pederneiras, and he’s co-signing on Silva ripping Sonnen’s teeth out. What is the cultural component in Brazil that makes this kind of “Marathon Man” fantasy so appealing?

Anyhow, that toothy tangent aside, I believe Silva’s overall focus now. Keep in mind, this rematch is effectively two years in the making. A lot has changed since Anderson’s Silva’s awkward phase in his middleweight championship reign. He is now a major sports celebrity in Brazil and seems acutely aware now of how to manage his brand and image. Whether or not he came unhinged a bit and gave the media and fans something to chew on, the idea that he would shy away from engaging Sonnen and give us a farcical bout like the Maia one seems hard to believe.

More than that, would Sonnen even allow for it? If Silva tried to employ tactics like that, the first bout would dictate that Sonnen would come charging forward with punches of his own, looking to take him down. Consider the fact that the Thales Leites and Maia bouts were largely so lame due to both challengers being terrified to come near Silva. Only late in their bout did Maia get the gumption to attack Silva. If anything else, we know Chael has that in spades.

Long story short: if you’re Chael P. Sonnen and you’re wondering about the psychology behind Anderson Silva’s conference call and what it might suggest, it is probably more a suggestion to guard your grill and take cover than to put on his dancing shoes.

Continue Reading » Sonnen and Second Bananas

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