July 15, 2024

Anderson Silva confesses the real reason he didn’t try to win his trilogy fight with Chael Sonnen

While Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen gave the world two thrilling match-ups, their third encounter wasn’t quite so exciting. And according to ‘The Spider’ that was by design.

On June 15, the pair of UFC legends squared off in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in a collision that reminded fans of one of the greatest rivalries combat sports has ever seen.

(L-R) Opponents Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen are separated by UFC President Dana White during the UFC 148 press conference at Lagasse's Stadium ...
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Anderson Silva reveals why he didn’t try to beat Chael Sonnen

Throughout its history, the UFC has created a plethora of fantastic grudge matches. From Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov to Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier, MMA enthusiasts love getting stuck into a storyline with genuine needle.

And it’s fair to say, Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva certainly didn’t like one another. Blessed with palpable charisma, ‘The American Gangster’ has solidified his place as one of the greatest trash talkers of all time.

From telling the legend he ‘absolutely sucks’ to mocking his home in Beverly Hills, Sonnen certainly got under Silva’s skin. And it played dividends when the pair met in the cage.

With so much bad blood, when the opening bell finally rang, the world was watching, desperate to find out whether the Oregon native could back up his boasts.

To their surprise, for four-and-a-half rounds, Sonnen did exactly what he said he would, until a careless error cost him everything. Silva locked in a submission, destroying his rival’s dream in front of his very eyes.

While the American received a chance at redemption two years later, the contest ended quickly, with the Brazilian winning via TKO in the second round.

For over a decade, Sonnen dreamed of his shot at redemption, with his prayers finally being answered last weekend. But rather than give it his all, Silva and he, decided to sit back and have what looked like a playful spar.

Chael Sonnen receives a hug from Anderson Silva during a Jake Paul v Anderson Silva press conference at NeueHouse Hollywood on September 12, 2022 i...
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Following the bout, Silva informed the media that knockouts weren’t allowed since it was an exhibition. He later explained that having shared such an iconic rivalry, Sonnen had earned his respect, and consequently, didn’t want to finish him anyway.

He tweeted: “I know some said the match should have been more aggressive, but each fight has its own dynamic. I chose to be in the ring with an opponent so important in my history. I could have fought to win, but I preferred to do this as a tribute to our history, and that’s why I didn’t win the belt.

“We win in many ways in life, and being beside you all that night was the biggest victory of all. It was incredible to say goodbye to the Brazilian rings with so much love. Love you.”

However, while Silva didn’t want to hurt the charismatic character, somebody else does, and Sonnen is more than willing to get in the ring with him.

Jorge Masivdal believes he’d destroy Chael Sonnen

In the build-up to his bout with Silva, the former UFC star referenced a boxing match with Jorge Masvidal, supposedly scheduled to take place later this year.

The Miami brawler has a battle of his own with Nate Diaz on July 6, to settle their contest from 2019, in which the Stockton fighter was pulled out by the doctor due to cuts. The match is Masvidal’s first inside the boxing ring since 2005.

In a recent interview with talkSPORT, he revealed that he’s more than happy to box Sonnen. However, it appears the striker sees the trash-talker as nothing other than a stepping stone.

He told Adam Catterall: “I could just do Chael really quick to stay busy. But Chael can’t box, bro. We’d have to do it at heavyweight, and I’d have to sign a clause that I’d only use my lead hand. He’s f***ing saying this and that. The guy doesn’t want to box, I’d break his f***ing face, man.”

But while Masvidal’s fighting appetite isn’t ignited by the potential of a scrap with Sonnen, there are three names who really light his fire.

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