Chael Sonnen (Pictured) plants UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva on his back and dominates him. Sound familiar? If you thought the opening round of Saturday’s highly-anticipated rematch was an exact replay of nearly their entire battle from two years ago, you weren’t the only one.
As Yogi Berra would have said had he ordered UFC 148 on pay-per-view, “It was like déjà vu all over again.”
However, after failing on a couple of early takedown attempts in the second stanza, Sonnen inexplicably tore a page out of Jon Jones’ playbook and attempted a spinning backfist. Unfortunately for the chatty challenger, he hit nothing but air and found himself on his behind.
What on earth were you thinking, Uncle Chael? Is that something you’ve been practicing?
“There’s always some opportunities [to improve]. You always try to work on your skills,” Sonnen said at the post-fight press conference of expanding his repertoire. “I felt like a doofus because I fell down, but we’re in the middle of battle. There were some parts in there where I felt really good and there were some parts that really hurt. Including the end.”
Speaking of the finishing touches, the beginning of the end was likely the controversial knee that Silva unleashed on what initially appeared to be Sonnen’s head. Although, on replay it seemed to connect right in the middle of Sonnen’s chest.
Regardless if it was an illegal strike on a downed opponent, Sonnen couldn’t care less.
“I don’t make those decisions and I hate those rules anyway,” Sonnen said of the vicious shot. “I’m an old school guy. Before we had all these weight classes and rounds and all that stuff – and we’re in a lot better spot now, so I don’t propose we go back to that – but I don’t care about legal or illegal. I could see him, I could see it coming. That’s just the way it goes.”
He is now 0-2 against the baddest 185-pounder in bare feet, with momentary lapses in judgment costing him the crown. While there are no moral victories when fighting for the hardware, Sonnen has done something that no other athlete has done inside the Octagon – make Silva look human.