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Fact or Crap: Chael Sonnen Actually has a Chance to Win This Thing


("All that punching and kicking is fine for some people. It just seems a little showy for my tastes." PicProps: MMALinker.com)

In some ways, you’ve really got to hand it to Chael Sonnen. Not only has the relentless torrent of bullshit that has spewed from his mouth during the last few months done a remarkable job rekindling the public’s interest in Anderson Silva, but it’s also distracted just about everybody from asking the one question that really matters about tonight’s UFC 117 main event: Does Sonnen have a chance in hell to actually win?

Answer: Yes, but he’s going to have to play it perfectly.


Given the sheer amount of nonsensical yell-talking Sonnen’s done prior to this bout, it would be a fool’s errand to go back and try to ferret out exactly how he’s prepared himself for the biggest fight of his life. He said earlier this week that he hadn’t yet watched any tape on Silva, said previously that he had “a strategy that’s never been beaten” in store for the champ and implied that he plans to simply will himself through Silva’s murderous striking attacks using toughness and rough-hewn country pride.

Of course, we have to assume all of that is lies.

Sonnen may well be out of his mind, but he’s not stupid. He knows if he spends more than 30 seconds on his feet exchanging punches with Silva, the fight’s over. He knows if he gets stuck in the clinch accepting knees to the grille, the fight’s over. He damned sure knows if he gets careless or tired or just a little bit sloppy … yeah, the fight’s over. Better than anyone else, Sonnen knows that his only chance to win this fight is to keep “The Spider” off his feet as much as possible. In fact, when Sonnen recently announced his intention to come out and “put Anderson on his prissy ass” with wrestling, it might’ve been the only true thing to come out of his mouth during the last six weeks.

The good news for Sonnen is that historically he’s been pretty good at forcing his opponents to play that game. When Sonnen loses fights, its typically by submission from the top – dude still acts like he’s never even heard of an arm bar –  and despite that vaunted Nogueira black belt we’re always hearing about, Silva’s only tapped one guy with an actual submission hold in his entire career. That means that maybe, just maybe, if Sonnen can put Silva on his back and rough him up the same way he did Nate Marquardt in his last UFC fight, he has a glimmer of hope.

For his own sake, let’s hope training partner Matt Lindland sat Sonnen down and forced him to watch the first round of Dan Henderson’s fight with Silva at UFC 82 a couple hundred times. The one thing Hendo did right in that bout in March of 2008 was that he used the champion’s customary feeling-out period at the opening of the first to pressure Silva just enough to allow for a takedown before “The Spider”  kicked things into high gear. Henderson won that first round, during which Silva did little more than hang on from half-guard and then lock up a defensive body triangle to keep Henderson from posturing up after the champ scrambled to full guard inside the last minute. Result: 10-9 Hendo.

In the second an emboldened Henderson tried to slug a bit too much with Silva and paid for it in short order. Let’s hope Lindland told Sonnen there was no second round, that both Henderson and Silva decided to call it good and just went home after the first, because in order to win tonight, Sonnen needs to repeat Hendo’s first round performance and ignore what he did in the second.

Can he do it? Maybe. Can he do it five times? Well, odds makers and gamblers sure don’t think so. After opening as a flat 3-1 underdog, betting websites now list the Oregon wrestler at anywhere from +325 to +380. Bodog.com has a straight bet on Silva going off at -500. That certainly does not inspire confidence.

But the truth is, we’ve never seen what happens when someone is able to take Silva down and pound on him for three or four rounds. We have no idea how he might respond to that and Sonnen is the first guy in Silva’s last five trips to the Octagon who has a real chance to implement that strategy.  Are we ready to start talking about the great and terrible possibilities of a Chael Sonnen title reign? Hardly. But if he comes out and fights smart tonight, he has an opportunity to at least make things interesting.

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fatbellyfrank- August 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm
Nothing yet Boner, but we've still got plenty of time
ghostboner- August 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm
Well FBF? Pres cred in in the bag? Plane fare in the mail? Females in the tub? Anything.
Loretta Cunt- August 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm
so was the sonnen tap from elbows as well?
rearnakedchickenchoke- August 7, 2010 at 10:09 pm
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(sorry, didn't mean to break your site layout with that - I hate when ppl do that to my site as well)
fatbellyfrank- August 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm
@ dogpt, I was pretty critical of Mr Bojangles after the Abu Dhabi shitfight, I still have my suspicions about the fix from that one, but its history and I got no proof so I'll just shut up on that one. I don't beleive IMO that Sonnen is any chance here today, I hope Anderson struts his stuff big time, and doesn't carry on with the BS he did in Abu Dhabi.
Sonnen has proved he can shit talk with the best(worst?) of em, hoo fucken ra, but thats prolly just the politician in him, those cunts never shut up, but they never say anything worthwhile, which IMO is exactly what Sonnen has done in the lead in to fight, prolly pulled in some extra casual fans to see what all the jibba jabba is about.
If the two fighters fight to 100% of their respective abilities, Sonnen is gonna get prison raped, no doubt about that. We'll see what we see
fatbellyfrank- August 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm
@ Videodrome, so could we assume she'd snort coke of my penis ? if so , that would make it OK
dogpt3- August 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm
Chael probablly would of had a chance had he kept his mouth shut but based on the look of anger in Silvas eyes during the weigh ins and press conference that chance is now slim to none. The only real question is does he finish him immediately or does he make him suffer 5 rounds and see just how much punishment this guy can take. When your game plan is to walk through Silvas punches and take him down, well, ask Leben about how that worked. Can't wait to read all the comments from people who were hating on Silva a few months ago.
Videodrome_NOW- August 7, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Oh yeah,... go Chael.
Videodrome_NOW- August 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm
@fatbelly
Gina Carano was caught snortin coke of Cyborg's penis. Sorry, mate.... Or hooray if you're into that sort of thing.
fatbellyfrank- August 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm
Just like to amend a previous post, the thing I would really most like to type is " Woohoo, just got out of the hot tub with Arrianny and Gina Carano, and they've said I've gotta stay with em and keep satisfying their every sexual need for at least another week"
Yea, I sure would like that.
fatbellyfrank- August 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm
@ eyesredasfedor, I'll meet you at the abandoned Church at Windrixville and pick up some guns for myself,
fatbellyfrank- August 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm
@ LAS, I think there's a few of us who have begrudgingly conceded, that yes, in any 2 person contest both have a chance, and you never know what might happen in the Octagon, but reallistically, gimme a break, if everything goes according to form, Andersons gonna humiliate Sonnenn one way or another, and take out a pretty straightforward victory, after which, all we will hear from Sonnoen is blissful silence
Eyes red as Fedor- August 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm
I prefer getting my MMAnalysis from the same place I get my peroxide and guns: Dally Winston.

Has anyone else seen the videos of Chael sparring where he keeps trying a spinning backfist but its horribly telegraphed and terribly inaccurate? My pick is Ando by knockout when Chael brings that trash.
LAS- August 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Is everyone here claiming that Chael has a chance in this fight forgetting the way he got ragdolled by Maia, the same guy who couldn't get a whiff of a takedown against A. Silva? Fucking lunacy.
fatbellyfrank- August 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm
But the thing I most wanna type is " Woohoo, Boner, BG just sent out our press accreditation for UFC down under, and your plane tickets are on the way"
fatbellyfrank- August 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm
I just wanna be able to type" Well that makes Big Roy the number one HW contender after his complete destruction of two saints" but I'm not holding my breath
ghostboner- August 7, 2010 at 3:33 pm
Did someone question Chael's Republicanness? Is Wayne Sonnen gonna hafta choke a bitch?

If Anderson wins tonight he is officially the god of mma. Think of the trend recently, all the guys who looked invincible...Fedor, B.J., Lyoto. Fedor and B.J. fighting guys who they were expected to utterly destroy. If Anderson can break the curse he will have eclipsed Fedor, imo.

And I hope that tomorrow in my stupor I can type "Hooo damn I had no idea that Steven Segal was actually training Chael, in TKD, and he was sent to Black House to spy! I didn't think Republicans did scorpion kicks!"
Sabado Gigante- August 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm
I want a vuvuzela with a UFC logo...
BackbaconBilly- August 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm
Impossible for Chael to win... Silva by " Seagal neck snap"
Almost North- August 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm
I'm not sure if chest shaving is so out of line for a republican politician, seeing how many of them turn out secretly gay.
Almost North- August 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm
yes I hope I can type something equally as insane as "Holy shit who knew Chael had knockout power in his crescent kick?"
fatbellyfrank- August 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm
@ Almost, exactly my friend, the last few weeks count for shit once (hopefully) Herb Dean tells em to "get it on "
And I pray to the gods of MMA we got a five round blockbuster that at the end of the fight, has all rushing to our keyboards to type " Holy shit what a fucken awesome fight"
Loretta Cunt- August 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm
the lutter submission was from the triangle. the dude was purple from the choke. elbows to the top of the head didn't cause a tap. top of the head is the hardest part of the body (though the heel is the hardest bone). lutter was going to sleep! but like most of the mma community to cp sherdog is god and they list it as tap due to strikes.
DARKHORSE06- August 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm
SILVA wins by knockout round 1.
DARKHORSE06- August 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm
I was rooting for Chael right up until I noticed he waxed his chest. Unless he had some sort of swimming time trial in the last few days, he just lost my support. Shaving your body is a very Democratic move and I have to question his Republican-ness. Silve wins by knock out round 1.
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