Anderson Silva is a tough nut to crack. We know he doesn’t want to fight friends, and we know he doesn’t want to fight guys he’s already beaten, and we know he doesn’t want to fight guys who got middleweight title shots in the UFC without ever competing in the UFC at that weight class. New #1 contender Chael Sonnen doesn’t fit into any of those categories, so you’d think there wouldn’t be a problem. But as Silva’s manager Ed Soares has proven, you can find an excuse to duck pretty much anybody:
Let’s make one thing crystal clear: Sonnen is a Republican, and the only man he has a crush on is America’s Greatest Patriot. Also, Soares and Silva’s opponent-pickiness act is getting very stale. Sure, Sonnen took a loss four fights ago — it’s not that fans have forgotten about it, it’s just that Sonnen is coming off back-to-back wins over top-5 middleweights (something that Anderson hasn’t done himself in two years), which should rightfully earn him a shot at the belt. Don’t forget that Sonnen just kicked the ass of the guy who kicked Maia’s ass, which builds his case even further. And what would happen if Maia beat Sonnen again in their hypothetical #1 contender fight? Would he get a title shot, or would he first have to win a rematch against Nate Marquardt before Ed Soares is completely satisfied? And what if Nate won that fight? Jesus, where are my pills.
Soares’s argument is a silly one that you could use to discredit virtually any title contender: Urijah Faber should have to beat Mike Brown before he gets to fight Jose Aldo, and Frank Edgar should have to beat Gray Maynard before he earns a shot at BJ Penn. Unfortunately, that line of thinking would rob fans of frequent title fights that they might actually want to see. Whatever happened to just fighting whoever they put in front of you?