It appears Chael Sonnen is making quite the impression with his articulate and entertaining smack talking ways. While former top contender Vitor Belfort remains on the mend from shoulder surgery, his striking coach Shawn Tompkins believes Sonnen is barking up the wrong middleweight tree by going after Anderson Silva.
“Nothing against Chael, but I think he talks better than he fights,” Tompkins recently told The Las Vegas Sun. “I’ll be front row (at UFC 117) studying both of them because that’s my job. I think Chael will talk himself into the fight, but ultimately Anderson will knock him out.”
“The Spider” was expected to face Belfort at UFC 112 prior to the shoulder injury. This September will mark a year since Belfort returned to the Octagon to post a devastating UFC 103 knockout victory over Rich Franklin.
“I had been taking shots the last couple camps to keep fighting,” Belfort said of going under the knife. “Everyone was saying, ‘You need surgery,’ but I wasn’t at peace with that. I went to the best doctor in Brazil, and he showed me the number of fighters who keep fighting and make their careers short. You can’t fight numbers.”
That is true, you can’t argue against numbers … but you can always bet on them. The Gambling Gods have pegged Silva as a 4-to-1 favorite to retain his strap. While the powers that be profess it will be an easy night for Silva, Belfort isn’t about to jump on anyone’s bandwagon.
“When you want something, you don’t make a prediction,” Belfort added. “I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t worry about what’s going to come my way. As long as I stay on my path, I’m not worried about who’s in it.”
Belfort’s coach, on the other hand, was a bit more vocal about who he preferred to reign supreme inside Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.
“It’s not personal, but it’s a little more personal (with Silva),” Tompkins said. “I think Chael will try to pick a fight, but that’s the only way he becomes popular or famous because we all know he’s a boring fighter. Anderson is the man and we want to beat that man. I think that fight would mean a little more to us.
“And honestly, go ask the fans who they want to see fight. It’s Anderson and Vitor.”