UFC 148: MMA’s Biggest Night?
July 7th looms off on the horizon. In a summer chalk full of UFC events (nine between June 1st and August 11th for those keeping score at home), one stands out above the rest. Not only does it stand out, it dwarfs the others in ways that are unimaginable. In a season where we get to see a new Ultimate Fighter winner crowned, legends such as Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva square off, the curtain call of Titio Ortiz, a Lightweight title rematch, a battle for the interim Bantamweight title, the highly anticipated debut of Hector Lombard, and the crowning of a potential new Pound for Pound king in Jose Aldo, none can match the cinematic vibe that comes with the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen rematch.
At this point in his career, the Brazilian is almost a myth. If there was no video proof of his exploits in the cage, some just would not believe he is real. However, through this shroud of mystery that his aura carries, we were able to catch a glimpse of Anderson Silva in human form. On August 7th, 2010 the MMA world watched in awe as Chael Sonnen battered the unstoppable champ. Shot after shot, take down after take down, Sonnen out classed the best fighter in the world. Ultimately, Chael was caught in a triangle choke with little time left in the bout, and was forced to tap.
A failed drug test and other various non-MMA related issues forced Chael out of fighting for some time. During this period, Silva returned to form by racking up wins over Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. After Sonnen cleaned up his mess, he returned to action with an impressive win over Brian Stann. In his post fight interview, when asked by Joe Rogan to take us through the fight, Sonnen replied, “Anderson Silva you absolutely suck!” The crowd roared, as Silva looked on for the front row. Sonnen proposed a fight: if Anderson loses, he leaves the middleweight division forever, if Chael lost…he leaves the UFC forever.
While this offer fizzled away, the tension was still there. Sonnen was offered a spot on UFC card on Fox in which he would fight British loud-mouth, Michael Bisping. Chael took home the victory, and was eventually given his rematch. After months of being in limbo, and countless he-said-she-said from both camps, the UFC made it official. The fight, originally slated to be in Brazil, was moved to Las Vegas. While it is unknown why, there is heavy speculation that Brazilian officials feared for Sonnen’s safety after countless anti-Brazil tirades.
Easily the best talker in all of professional sports, Chael Sonnen has rattled the cage of Silva non-stop. From poems, to saying he would kick down the door to Andersons’ house and have his wife cook him steak, to comparing the champ to a disabled animal, Chael has crossed the line non-stop.
With a soundbite seemingly every day, and a hatred that seems all too real, UFC 148 is going to be the biggest UFC card to date. Mark your calenders, choose your side and get your popcorn ready, folks, it’s going to be one heck of a show.
“I disrespected your family. Yes I did, and what’d you do about it? You didn’t do a damn thing, and you’re not gonna do anything on July 7th. Get your excuses ready now, Anderson.”-Chael Sonnen
See what various MMA stars have to say about the rematch!