By Benjamin Bieker
Heading into this weekend’s fights, a lot of people believed that Chael Sonnen had a very slim chance of winning his fight against Mauricio Rua. People were essentially calling for his retirement before he even stepped into the cage. Against all odds, Sonnen came out and absolutely dominated the former UFC light-heavyweight champion on his way to a first round submission win. Now, everyone from Phil Davis to Vitor Belfort wants a piece of the former number one contender, while not all of them will get the fight lets breakdown all of The American Gangsters options.
First, is the asinine fight that make no sense. Phil Davis called out Sonnen, but does anyone want to see that fight? Whether you think he beat Machida or not, the bottom line is he came away with a W, and that puts him a fight or two away from a title fight. A win over Sonnen does a lot for a star power, but it does not make him anymore of a convincing threat to the title. He should be calling for a rematch with Rashad Evans or the winner of Glover Teixeira versus Ryan Bader, not a middleweight fighter.
Then you have Lyoto Machida who at the end of the day is not a great fight. Yes, if Machida does want to help his career a win over Sonnen is a great move, but is that fight really going to sell tickets? Machida is coming off a loss and, even if you think he won, his last two fights have done nothing to prove himself an entertaining fighter. The UFC needs to make fights that can act as a main event and sell tickets, and a fight with Machida does neither of those.
Then you have Vitor Belfort who has been calling out every fighter under the sun except for the ones the UFC is trying to match him up with. The Sonnen and Belfort fight is intriguing, but with Belfort essentially the next challenger for the middleweight title it does have some draw backs. If Belfort is able to beat Sonnen down he will secure himself as the next challenger to Chris Weidman’s title, and if he can beat Sonnen worse than Anderson Silva has he makes a good case for his rematch with the former champion. The only problem is that if Sonnen and Silva win that fight makes absolutely no sense, because Silva has beaten Sonnen twice. Belfort should be matching up with a fighter like Gegard Mousasi who poses a legit challenge to Weidman and Silva, just like Belfort does.
The fight that makes the most sense is Wanderlei Silva versus Sonnen, because it is a fight that has a ton of hype behind it. Just like Silva against Chuck Liddell the fight would have been a lot bigger if both were still champion. Unfortunately when they fought both were still coming off of losses. At this point, Silva has gone 2-1 in his last three with big knockouts over Cung Le and Brian Stann, and Sonnen just picked up the biggest win of probably his whole career. This fight could easily main event a Fox cad let alone pull big buys as the co-main event of a PPV. Make this fight before it losses its luster, and if Sonnen has another impressive win it just means more money in the UFC’s pockets.
What are your thoughts?