One of the more interesting stories to break following Chael Sonnen’s loss at UFC 148 is that his corner is considering challenging the result. While it was fairly clear on replay that the knee that caused the final onslaught hit Sonnen in the chest, as Sonnen himself stated immediately afterwards (and Silva confirmed as well), a couple of things stood out while it happened. The most immediate one is that Silva grabbed the fence to increase his leverage before he threw it. One that some pointed out was that Silva did rub off some of the excess Vaseline on his face from the pre-fight check from the referees and cut-men onto his body. It all leads up to Sonnen’s corner potentially challenging the result, as Jonathan Snowden reported earlier. Sonnen’s head trainer Scott McQuarry had some interesting comments about it.
“Chael’s not the kind of guy who likes to complain after a fight,” McQuarry said. “I felt I needed to take this action to protect him. At the point of impact, Anderson had his hand locked in the cage and his feet left the ground. We believe his intentions were clear.
“We started the process of filing a complaint with the Nevada Athletic Commission. We believe the knee that Anderson Silva threw was illegal with the clear intent to strike the face. And it did in fact connect with the face. Chael bit his tongue and needed eight stitches.”
It’s fairly clear what McQuarry is trying to do. This isn’t a matter of Sonnen complaining about a result, at least in public. He’s been magnanimous in stating that the better man won the fight and that he thought the knee that ended the fight was legal. There’s certainly something Sonnen is up to, though, at least passively. As a fighter you don’t let your corner or your team does something on your behalf without your consent. It’s the same as a divorce attorney going after assets a spouse thought were implicitly off-limits in good faith: the attorney may be acting like a pit-bull but they have to have the consent of a client to do so. A trainer like McQuarry wouldn’t pursue his case to Keith Kizer or to Dana White, as well as the fans of the UFC, without an end game in mind.
Silva/Sonnen 3 would’ve happened if Chael would’ve defeated the champion Saturday night almost regardless of how the fight went. A 25 minute domination by Sonnen would’ve garnered a rematch for Silva, who after all these years as champion would be more than worthy of a third fight. It would’ve been in a soccer stadium in Brazil or the headliner of a mega-card at Cowboys Stadium or Madison Square Garden if pipe dreams would come true. Its gate and pay per view would’ve blown UFC 100 out of the water and it would’ve capped the greatest trilogy in UFC history.
Sonnen’s loss now puts him in Jon Fitch/Josh Koscheck/Rich Franklin territory instead. Barring a miracle, or a Silva title loss in the near future, he’s going to have to wait his turn and then some before he gets another shot at Anderson Silva. When you’ve lost twice, both times without the judges at ringside having to render a decision, it takes close to a miracle to get another chance. It’s why capitalizing on title fights matters so much in a combat sport; there’s only so many times you can expect fans to pay for what appears to be yet another failed run at the champion.
McQuarry’s posturing is nothing more than public gamesmanship. Sonnen himself has gone on record as saying the knee was legal and he had no problem with it; certainly his trainer wouldn’t be pursuing anything after the fact this overtly without Sonnen’s consent. With two losses to the champion, both of them stoppages, Sonnen is going to have go through a murderer’s row of challengers to get his third fight with the champion again. To get to Silva two times he’s beaten Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami, Michael Bisping and Brian Stann. He’ll have to do something similar, probably adding a name or two from the likes of Mark Munoz, Hector Lombard or Tim Boetsch to it in order for a third fight to happen.
Omar from “The Wire” said it once and it seems appropriate to the matter: “You come at the king, you best not miss”
Sonnen missed. Twice. His camp’s attempt at getting something from the “illegal” knee is posturing, nothing more.
Tags: Chael Sonnen, Mixed Martial Arts, UFC 148