Chael Sonnen, UFC 117: Now This Is How You Sell A Fight

That's Chael Sonnen and in his opinion Don King can't hype for squat, the Iron Sheik did a poor job inciting pro wrestling crowds during the hostage crisis, and Muhammad Ali was a shy, retiring wallflower. Sonnen also believes that Lance Armstrong gave himself cancer, that he has a career in politics running for the Oregon legislature, and that he's going to whip the obscenely talented, often enigmatic UFC Champion Anderson Silva in Oakland on August 7th in UFC 117.

Silva hasn't endeared himself of late to UFC fans and UFC management with clowning, passivity, and in-fight oddness and Sonnen is needling Silva every chance he gets. But being a magnanimous sort, Sonnen has allowed Silva an out should he choose not to fight him, as outlined beginning at the 1:24 minute mark of the video. His demands are simple:

1. Silva must leave the UFC for no less than 12 months
2. He must issue an apology to the fans
3. Anderson must erect a statue in Chael Sonnen's likeness in his living room and bow to it each evening

As Sonnen relates in the video, his face torn in disbelief - SILVA HAS REFUSED THESE SIMPLE DEMANDS.

So now they have to fight.

Not only is this a display of fight-selling unparalleled since the days of Ali, it also represents good strategy. Anderson Silva is a natural counterpuncher, but he knows that a passive display could very well mean the end of his UFC career (UFC President Dana White was so upset by Silva's antics after the Damian Maia fight that he threatened to drop the fighter if it happened again). So there is a method behind Sonnen's madness. Silva initiating the attack is slightly less terrifying than his counterpunching and transition work and it does open Silva to the takedown. Sonnen is no joke either, fresh off of wins over highly respected fighters like Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami.

Of course, this could all backfire. Badly. Anderson Silva had been bored by his octagon competition of late. Sonnen's awesome display of trash talk may just be the cape tug needed for Superman to fly into action.

And this is what Anderson Silva looks like when he's focused -

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