(Video courtesy MMALive)
We’d put our usual "Ignore Franklin McNeil’s inane ramblings,"disclaimer on this video, but after you hear him try to string a series of words together to describe how he was feeling during the Sonnen-Silva fight, it seems unnecessary.
"First time in a long time that I was actually a fan. I’m sitting there and I can’t believe what I’m seeing. No one could have foreseen that particular outcome."
Which outcome is that, Anderson winning by submission against a guy who always loses by submission or you being asked to give your thoughts on it?
Sonnen’s interview makes up for McNeil’s deer in the headlights style of reporting.
Here’s what he had to say about a variety of topics, including:
Whether or not he was surprised that he outstruck Anderson standing:
"I was a boxer growin’ up. I never really talked about it. I had a real serious conversation with my father as a teenager about leaving wrestling and trying to make the Olympic team in amateur boxing. I fought 41 men and I’ve never been outstruck on my feet and I was pretty confident that Anderson wasn’t going to be the first to do it, so I wasn’t overly surprised."
What his game plan was for the opening round:
"We were able to control the action. One thing you’ll notice if you watch Anderson’s fights is it’s pretty easy to get the jump on him right at the beginning of the fight. He takes a little bit longer of a feeling out process than most guys and he comes out very hard for the second round. We were prepared for that."
Knowing that he dominated the opening frame, how he approached round two:
"Going into round two, again, we knew he likes to come out hard in round two. The feeling out process is done. He doesn’t lead with the jab, he leads with power knockout shots — big flying knees. We were prepared for that. I wanted to meet him across the ring — meet him in his corner and keep the pressure on him. Not only beat him physically, but try to take jhim out of the game mentally."
If he was surprised that the fight ended the way it did:
"It’s important to stay busy. If you ever get on top in a fight, you want to maintain that position. I really thought that the only chance Anderson is going to have is to land one of the fancy and athletic moves he’s known for from his feet. I didn’t see there being any problems from the ground position…Anderson never touched me once in the fight that didn’t hurt. I never envisioned him winning the fight from the bottom."
How close he thought he was to winning in the third round:
"He stopped at one point…the referee even warned him that he needs to stay busy, and he looked at the referee like "I’m not busy; get me out of here."He didn’t put his hands up. I thought there was a really good opportunity for victory there, maybe by TKO. He also groaned while I was striking him in the body. We had a real brief conversation where he let me know "That hurt." I was telling him, ‘I can get you out of here, but you need to roll over and give me the choke.’ He wasn’t quite willing to do that."
If he felt Silva was going to quit:
"I did and I fell for it. He shut down and was completely in defensive mode. More often than not, that’s a guy’s way of telling you "I’m gonna stay in here and grind this one out for 25 minutes, but I concede you won tonight. He gave me that both verbally and physically, but he came back."
If he was celebrating in his mind heading into the final round:
"Absolutely. At this point I knew I’d beat Anderson. I’ve just got to beat out the clock and get the victory. I really though the fight was over. I never saw him winning from the bottom."
On the submission that lost him the fight:
"Basics are what win championships, not fancy moves. Two of the basics of submissions are you don’t let your opponent control your wrist and you don’t put your hand on the mat. I let him control my wrist. I underestimated him. I figured he had 23 minutes and he couldn’t do anything to me, it’s certainly not going to change now. That’s a big mistake. I let him have my wrist . If I got my wrist back, we wouldn’t be having this conversation."
What he thought about these comments Michael Bisping made about him after the fight:
“If Michael Bisping ever addresses me in public comments again, I’ll bury him where he stands.”