It would seem Chael Sonnen is finally starting to show UFC middleweight champ, and nearly-unanimous top MMA fighter in the world, Anderson Silva some respect. Sonnen discussed Silva during a recent press conference for UFC 137 and gave the 185-pound title-holder some never-before seen credit.
“It’s getting harder and harder to deny he should be shown that appreciation,” Sonnen said. “He ducked Yushin Okami for years, but he did finally get in there and he made it look easy. So I think you’ve got to look at that. If you’re asking if I’d ever concede that Anderson’s better than me, no. I would refer you to the tape (of our fight).”
Sonnen, who will meet Brian Stann in a de facto #1 contender match at UFC 136, lost to “The Spider” via fifth round submission last year. Still, Sonnen believes that since he beat up Silva for the better part of four rounds, he actually won the fight.
“I think he and I are vastly different and that I could come down a lot and still be ahead of him,” Sonnen said. “I also think he ducks and dodges opponents constantly, but his wins and losses speak for themselves. The fact of the matter, whether I like to admit this or not, is he’s done a better job than anybody, done a better job than me, and he is the champion.”
For Sonnen, that is actually quite the compliment, as he has been very focal against anything Silva does in his fights or outside of the Octagon. Still, that doesn’t mean the two are going to hug and make-up any time soon.
“It doesn’t mean I’m going to quit poking my finger in his chest, but at some point I think fairness kicks in, too, and you need to look at what he’s done and tip your hat to him a little bit.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Wow! There really seems to be two sides to Sonnen, as he has made comments regarding Silva numerous times over the past few months that would make it seem like he actually respects him. Just as quickly, though, Sonnen turns around and rips into the champion for something. Honestly, I really think these two just need to duke it out again, as their first meeting was one of the best UFC fights in recent memory.