Chael P. Sonnen (pictured), where does one begin? Buried deep beneath the bevy of pre-scripted one-liners, WWE-inspired rants and TRT-powered prowess lies an underrated UFC fighter.
If you’re able to tune out the yada-yada-yada, you’ll quickly realize Sonnen has only lost three times since February of 2009. The trio of defeats came in title affairs against arguably the world’s two top fighters, then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva (twice) and reigning light heavyweight king Jon Jones.
After submitting former 205-pound champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on Saturday night, several viable challengers emerged from the woodwork. Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis all requested a tango with Sonnen.
But why? Sonnen has never donned a UFC belt and he’s not the top contender in neither the middleweight nor light heavyweight division. In fact, he’s currently only rated #9 on the UFC’s Fighter Rankings for 185-pounders.
Sonnen didn’t even crack the list for light heavyweights.
The answer is quite simple, this is the fight business, but there’s also plenty of show business involved. Sonnen always provides the sizzle to the steak, so why not let him do all the heavy pre-fight promotional lifting that he loves to do and ride his coattails to a UFC main event that will garner a large audience?
Just make sure Sonnen’s steak is cooked medium-rare.
Sonnen’s challengers have far more to gain than to lose. A win would quickly boost their recognition in front of a wide gallery, while a defeat would be understandable given who Sonnen has lost to and the top tier athletes he’s beaten over his past nine scraps.
At the advanced age of 36, tickets to the Uncle Chael show remain a hot commodity. The question now is, who will be his next co-star?