In his 12 fights under the UFC and WEC banners, Chael Sonnen has won seven fights by unanimous decision and lost the rest by triangle choke or triangle/armbar. You have to respect that level of consistency. But believe it or not, the mouthy middleweight also has ten stoppage victories on his record from appearances in non-Zuffa promotions.
Exhibit A: Sonnen once grappled the shit out of fellow WEC/UFC vet Tim McKenzie at a Bodog Fight event in February 2007, scoring a takedown and sinking a brabo choke in just 13 seconds. Even Royce Gracie himself was giving Chael props after the performance. (And hey, nice pull with that Asian girlfriend, buddy!)
Two months after he barely survived his first post-UFC outing against Angel DeAnda, James Irvin was back in action last night at "Tachi Palace Fights 7: Deck the Halls" in Lemoore, California — and he wasn’t so lucky this time. In the main event of the evening, Irvin took on 5-2-1 Chute Boxe product Jorge "Van Damme" Oliveira, who holds victories over Shonie Carter and Mike Van Arsdale. After failing on a takedown attempt, Oliveira wound up on his back, and did his best to defend Irvin’s ground-and-pound. At the video’s 3:24 mark, Irvin’s gets enough space to rain down some nasty blows, and Oliveira kicks him off. Irvin dives back in, and is immediately caught in a triangle/armbar. Fun fact: Irvin hasn’t been out of the first round in over four years.
Maybe Oliveira is just an affectionate guy in general, but the dude lays it on a little thick in his post-fight show of respect, hugging and kissing Irvin on the mat, raising the Sandman’s arm in faux-victory, bowing to him in a "we’re not worthy" pose (dude, it’s James Irvin, you’re worthy), getting up to hug him some more, then hugging him again after a brief visit with his corner. Now we know why they call him "Van Damme."
The Tachi Palace event also featured an insane bout between TUF 11 castmember Seth Baczynski and WEC/UFC vet Tim McKenzie, which ended with Baczynski getting his left arm snapped in an armbar, then elbowing McKenzie into unconsciousness with his non-broken arm. 2010 Finish of the Year candidate, for sure. Check it out after the jump…