Chael Sonnen is a busy man. He's training for a November 16 fight against former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. He co-hosts, the UFC's weekly show UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1. He's doing whatever prep work required of him for his recently announced gig as coach of the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, where he will coach opposite Wanderlei Silva. This weekend he will be in the corner of Luke Barnatt at UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester, England.
Sonnen took time out of his schedule to speak to the media on Thursday, and as is often the case, he offered his opinion on a number of topics. Two of those topics were UFC 162 and UFC 168. More specifically, Sonnen talked the first fight between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva and the upcoming rematch between the two.
Silva entered UFC 162 with a string of UFC records attached to his name. One of those records was longest championship reign in UFC history. That ten-fight title run came to an end, when Weidman's left hook put Silva down and out in front of a crowd of almost 13,000 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas a UFC 162.
The buzz before the fight was that Weidman was going to be the fighter that would give Silva the biggest test of his career. At times, that talk seemed almost manufactured. It sometimes came across as if the message was being shaped to get fans to believe Weidman, who had been out of the Octagon for almost one year, and whose biggest victory was over an injured Mark Munoz, had a chance to beat the fighter that many considered the best mixed martial artist of all time.
Manufactured buzz or not, Weidman knocked out Silva. According to Sonnen, the championship winning performance was the worst showing of Weidman's ten-fight MMA career:
Let's not forget, Chris Weidman dominated him on the ground and then got up and dominated on the feet. This was not a close fight. It was also the worst Chris Weidman I've ever seen. I've never seen Chris Weidman fight so poorly. He slowed down significantly. When he was on top in the first round, it was off a very sloppy takedown. He gave up position going for a very reckless submission. He was taking a couple of kicks. He just didn't fight very well, and he still dominated and ended with a finish inside seven minutes.
As for what will take place at UFC 168, Sonnen feels that Weidman will retain his title:
You have to understand, in the history of combat, never, not one time ever, ever, ever has a rematch ever favored the older fighter. There's a ten-year age gap here. It will be amazing if Anderson can beat him.
Anderson Silva is a very smart fighter. He's very skilled. He's very experienced. I just don't think he wants to be in there. They asked him right after he lost, and he openly said ‘my time as champion is done.' And I believe him.
UFC 168 will take place on December 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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