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Tag: Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen: “Whoever Wins Between Us Is The World’s Best Middleweight”


(Photo courtesy of DaviRusso.com)

Chael Sonnen returns to the UFC this Saturday night after an eventful stay in the WEC.  After outpointing a seemingly confused Paulo Filho in his last WEC bout, Sonnen now takes on submissions ace Demian Maia at UFC 95, in a fight Sonnen swears will determine who the world’s best middleweight is.  That other guy, the one wearing the belt?  He’s not bad either, according to Sonnen, but whoever wins this fight is the real top dog.  At least, that’s the story Sonnen’s telling in our exclusive talk with him, which is sometimes surprising, but never boring.

CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Chael.  What’s it like to come back to the UFC again?  Does it feel like it did the first time you fought in the big show?

No, it doesn’t, and thank goodness.  The first time I was in the UFC I really felt that weight on me, and I think it had a negative effect.  It was exciting, but I think in a negative way.  It might have created an atmosphere that made me a little apprehensive, but it’s not like that this time, and I’m very glad.

Leaving the WEC as you did after that strange fight with Paulo Filho, do you feel like you went out on a bad note?

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 95


(You call that a mean face?  Shiiieeeet.)

Betting odds are out for this Saturday’s UFC event on Spike TV, which we’ll be liveblogging as usual.  If you’ve still got the disposable cash and the devil-may-care attitude necessary for online gambling in this bleak economic climate, allow us to steer you in the right direction for this one.  

The juiciest lines on the internets come to us courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:

Joe Stevenson (+281) vs. Diego Sanchez (-295)
Dan Hardy (even) vs. Rory Markham (-108)
Nate Marquardt (-258) vs. Wilson Gouveia (+250)
Demian Maia (-256) vs. Chael Sonnen (+236)
Josh Koscheck (-450) vs. Paulo Thiago (+450)
Terry Etim (-220) vs. Brian Cobb (+205)
Junior Dos Santos (-260) vs. Stefan Struve (+240)
Mike Ciesnolevicz (-115) vs. Neil Grove (-105)
Per Eklund (-160) vs. Evan Dunham (+140)
Paul Kelly (-290) vs. Troy Mandaloniz (+290)

Thoughts…

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Videos: Tank Abbott Knocks Out Mike Bourke, Chael Sonnen Is “the Fastest White Man Alive”


(Props: Sherdog)

We’ve already shown you the epic Ken Shamrock/Shamu the Whale match from last Friday’s Wargods event, and at long last, here’s the night’s other headlining bout, Tank Abbott vs. Mike Bourke. The comedy starts even before the bell rings. Even though Bourke was 8-11-1 coming into the fight, the ring announcer, perhaps thinking that what he was seeing on his notecards was a typo, declared The Rhino’s record to be 18-11-1. And you gotta love the lady-commentator’s mock-enthusiasm at the 4:00 mark: "I wanna see it go the distance! I wanna see it go the distance! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!" The fight itself ends after just 29 seconds, following two point-blank rabbit punches from Tank. Awesome. Speaking of which, here’s how Ken Shamrock‘s weaselly little brother Frank described the Wargods show on his Yardbarker.com blog:

Wargods was terrible
i just finished watching the wargods show online. thanks sherdog. can i just say that it was so sad to see Ken Shamrock fighting on a c level show. i wish the best for him but think its time to hang it up.

What, and rob us of the Ken/Tank superfight we’ve been waiting for since 1995?

After the jump: FranklyWashedUp on the UG unearthed this enlightening 2006 video of Chael Sonnen’s training and his life outside the cage, which includes real estate, a proud mother, and a hot girlfriend. Money line: "Even if I thought I could get a submission, I’m not laying underneath a grown man with my legs spread on worldwide TV. Some guys subscribe to that theory, but I’m a Republican, and we don’t do that." Hear that you jiu-jitsu faggots?!

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Quick Hits: Manhoef to Face Hunt, Maia to Face Sonnen, Atencio to Face Someone, + More


(‘It’s not a skirt, you assholes.  The Romans wore these. Read a book.’)

The surprises just keep coming for the New Year’s Eve K-1 Dynamite show.  Jerome Le Banner is sick with the flu and has been forced to pull out of his fight with Mark Hunt, and Melvin Manhoef has agreed to take his place.  Despite the incredible weight difference between the heavyweight Hunt and the sort of middleweight Manhoef, the two will fight an MMA bout under “Dream rules” for three five-minute rounds.  

Is it a good idea for Manhoef, a vicious striker with an almost non-existent ground game to face a much heavier and damn near impossible to knock out fighter like Hunt, who also packs a serious wallop of his own?  Short answer: no.  No, it is probably not a good idea.  Especially on short notice.  But unlike many of the other bad ideas on the Dynamite NYE show, this one I’d actually love to see. 

Dammit, Japan.  Just when I want to curse your lack of rules and regulations, you go and do something like this to leave me more conflicted than ever.  I just can’t quit you.

In other news…

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Chael Sonnen Declaring War on Anderson Silva

It’s going to be nice to have Chael Sonnen back in the UFC.  He’s a certain type of asshole.  The type who prefers the cutting remark to the overtly insulting one.  The type who will sell your house and/or beat you up.  The type who might ask you what time you got up this morning, just so he can tell you, no matter how you respond, that he had already been up for hours at that point.  In other words, he’s totally sweet.

From the sound of things, he isn’t interested in just dipping his toe in the UFC middleweight waters, either.  He’s doing a cannonball aimed straight at Anderson Silva:

I’m not going to the UFC with a white flag. My flag is red, I’m declaring war. It’s always like that, all fighters when he grabs the microphone says the same thing, they challenge every fighter in the world, except Anderson Silva. A lot of folks don’t have what it takes, before even fighting they’re all ready yellow. I’m not going to do that, it would really disappointing to my fans. I’m the only fighter who wants to fight him, and the only one who has what it takes to beat him.

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Videos: Nasty Submission Megamix, Forrest Griffin Chats and Chokes

CagePotato reader Facey sent us this rather sick-ass highlight video that he made, featuring some of the greatest MMA submissions ever, starring Shinya Aoki, Dustin Hazelett, "Jacare" Souza, Frank Mir, Rumina Sato, Anderson Silva (both giving and receiving), and both Diaz brothers. Easy-breezy soundtrack provided by Donavan

 
(Props: Bloody Elbow)

In this promo clip for UFC 92, light-heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin discusses his opponent Rashad Evans and what challenges he might present. It’s clear that Griff isn’t underestimating Sugar whatsoever. As he says, "He’s got more knockouts than I do. And his knockouts have been impressive. Like, people-don’t-get-up-right-away knockouts." Speaking of Forrest Griffin, his September 2003 IFC fight with Chael Sonnen is after the jump, courtesy of MMA Scraps.

 

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‘Delivery for Mr. Sonnen’: Filho to Ship WEC Title Belt to Its Rightful Owner


(A chubby Filho tries to muster the interest to block a jab. Photo courtesy of WEC.tv)

True to their word, Paulo Filho’s camp will be sending Chael Sonnen the WEC middleweight title belt that he wants so badly, according to Josh Gross. Sonnen didn’t officially win the championship, what with Filho not making weight, and he may not have looked dazzling in his decision victory but he still clearly deserves the strap more than Filho. Ed Soares, Filho’s manager, said he’d be shipping Sonnen the belt “as soon as he could.”

What’s perhaps more interesting is Soares’ description of Filho after the bizarre fight. Apparently, he didn’t even seem to realize what had happened, which is sort of odd for a guy who made it all the way through three rounds:

Having returned to his locker room after refusing to engage for 15 minutes, Filho (16-1), told several times he’d lost, reacted as if he was unaware the fight had even reached its conclusion, Soares said.

Soon, Filho drew attention from doctors when the dilation of his pupils didn’t match. Later that evening, however, the 30-year-old grappler was released from a local hospital, his eyes functioning as close to normal as they’d done all night.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get weirder. The confusion on Filho’s part might help explain his performance, though. If he was unaware the fight had ended, perhaps he was also unaware it had ever started. Wait until he sees the tape of the fight. Boy, is his face going to be unemployed. I mean red.

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Paulo Filho Has No Excuse


(Either on his way to corner a fighter or commit a break-in. You just never know.)

All day long I’ve been waiting to hear details on exactly what combination of prescription drugs, nachos, and crippling depression was responsible for Paulo Filho showing up seven pounds overweight and then fighting like a bored schizophrenic at last night’s WEC. Judging by his remarks to Tatame, however, it sounds as if Filho is going to try and play this one off as nothing more than a bad night after a bad training camp:

“What can I do, it’s sad… The fact is that I have no excuses, he (Sonnen) went there and did his job to neutralize me and that’s what happened, he did the right job and he has all merits… It was good to give me a new spirit.”

A new spirit? I guess that’s a start. The old one looked pretty worn out, if not non-existent. As far as how he’s planning to turn things around, Filho seems to think the answer consists of moving to Los Angeles and eventually going up a weight class.

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Videos: Faber Surprisingly Upbeat, Sonnen Wants That Belt, & More

Urijah Faber wasn’t kidding when he said he was a happy person who loved life. Even as he admits that he doesn’t really remember what happened in his loss to Mike Brown on account of all the punches to his head, he still seems to be in a pretty pleasant mood in the post-fight press conference, captured here by ESPN.

Chael Sonnen, however, describes his fight with Paulo Filho as “like being in a dance with a partner who doesn’t know how to dance.” He also says he hasn’t received Filho’s belt, as promised, and he’s absolutely not above accepting it should they offer it, despite the weird circumstances.

After the jump, a couple special treats.

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What’s Going On, Paulo?

Paulo Filho Chael Sonnen WEC 36
(Paulo Filho hears the ghost voice from Field of Dreams at the worst possible time.)

Paulo Filho’s performance at last night’s WEC was, in a word, bizarre. Not even the interesting kind of bizarre, either. He managed to be both incredibly tedious to watch as well as completely inscrutable, particularly toward the end of the fight when his attention seemed to wander. What is Paulo looking at here? Was he as bored with the fight as we were? Was he having hallucinatory visions of a half-naked Indian spirit guide?

After what we’ve seen of Filho in the last couple of days, you have to think he hasn’t truly recovered from the multitude of “personal problems” that kept him out of action for most of 2008. It’s one thing to show up overweight. It’s another thing to show up overweight and then fight like you’re on mescaline. After all the talk about pride and how personal this was for him, Filho embarrassed himself last night. Coming into a fight that unprepared and uninterested is insulting to your opponent, your employer, and the fans.

The loss brings up another question: where is Filho’s mostly-meaningless WEC middleweight title belt? His corner told Matt Lindland they’d give it to Sonnen if he won the fight, and Lindland’s not the type of guy to forget about something like that. Filho might as well give it up, because he proved last night that he’s not deserving of any title other than ‘fighter most likely to slip into a spontaneous trance at any moment.’

Give up the belt, Paulo. That is, if you haven’t pawned it already. Then go back to rehab and get your head together.

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