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What If…Chael Sonnen Beat Anderson Silva?

To set the scene, it’s August 7, 2010 and UFC middleweights Anderson Silva/Chael Sonnen are in the midst of delivering an engaging bout that has seen Sonnen secure numerous takedowns while delivering the brunt of the damage to Silva via dominant top position strikes.

At the two minute mark in the fifth and final round, Silva begins working for a Triangle Choke/Armbar on Sonnen. Sonnen is prepared enough to evade the attempts, peppering him with more strikes. Sonnen slips free, while Silva uses the opportunity to get back to a standing position. Sonnen takes “The Spider” down once more as the bell sounds the end of the match, preparing for the inevitable moment when his hand raised in the Octagon following the judge’s decision and he’s named divisional champ.

Of course fans know that’s not how it went down. Even if it had, we all know that Sonnen, who did seem on point that night, ran into issues with testosterone use following the fight and was suspended. That being said, when it comes to this “what if” it has to be assumed, A.) Sonnen won a decision victory and B.) Sonnen did not enter the fight with an elevated testosterone level or fail to disclose his TRT to the California State Athletic Commission. Taking those things into consideration, how would a win for Sonnen have changed the sport of MMA as a whole?

Would Sonnen be more intolerable had he defeated Silva? I don’t think so. Sonnen’s ability to spew compelling trash-talk before his fights is merely to amplify whatever fan excitement is already there. It’s a tool to hype the fight, and thereby doesn’t mean much to those of us with mental faculties firmly rooted in reality.

Sonnen could have been crowned champion but would’ve fallen far short of the dominance that has been exhibited by Silva. Meaning, he would’ve had the belt but, being far from unbeatable, would have likely fallen to another opponent sooner rather than later, perhaps Silva himself in the eventual rematch.

Likewise, would losing to Sonnen tarnish Silva’s legacy? As alluded to earlier, it may have hurt his reputation but not to the point that Silva wouldn’t have been able come back and likely recapture the championship with a follow up win against Sonnen.

Then again, I have to wonder at that stage in Silva’s career how might he have rebounded from that loss mentally. Silva had also been purportedly tossing around the idea of retirement around his 35th birthday, the same year this first fight with Sonnen took place. Coincidentally, Silva’s UFC contract was expiring at the same time as well.

Also, would Dana White and company have lured him back in to avenge his loss or would the humble Brazilian be content to hang his gloves up rather than to risk the losing skid that some uber-dominant fighters suffer from after major losses? Luckily, since Silva was able to tap Sonnen we’ll never know what the mind of what some call “the best mixed martial artist of all time” would’ve decided to do what if…

What do you think? Let me know in the Comments section below…


  • Rece Rock says:

    What If…Chael Sonnen Beat Anderson Silva?

    He would of had to have a rematch in the not to distant future which would have saw Silva pretty much beat him the way he did in the 2nd fight.

    If Sonnen actually beat Silva his schtick would increase times a 1000.

  • darth_irritable says:

    I actually think he’d have reverted to just being a smartass, since he really only needs his schtick to get fights he doesn’t deserve.

    If you look at him in the Bisping fight (which would be comparable to him being champ), he was much more restrained.

  • raker says:

    Then we’d have Sonnen vs. Weidman hitch would actually be a sweet fight. UFC 151 still would have been cancelled although the blame wouldn’t lie with Jones because there was no willing replacement fighter for him to turn down.

  • raker says:

    *which*… Damned auto correct..:)

  • Screenplaya says:

    What if Sonnen hadn’t had a testosterone level equivalent to that of the entire starting offense and defense of the New York Giants? He would have lost. Probably falling down during an ill-advised, ill-fated spinning back fist. :)

    Had Sonnen won, Silva would’ve caved his skull in during the rematch. Of course, a unanimous 50-45 on all cards might not have allowed for an immediate rematch. I suppose that means we would have seen Sonnen fall to Demain Maia, in what would have been a very popular fight, hyped to the high-heaven by Chael, as Maia had beaten him earlier in his career. We would have been “treated” to more anti-Brazliian bullying, and pro-Oregonian douchebaggery.

    Wow. Never been so glad that Silva sunk in the choke…

  • Niv says:

    Once again, what if the Queen had balls? Well she’d be King!

  • hindsightufuk says:

    he’d still be a mouthy, racist, testostorone lacking, antagonistic, disrespectful, over hyed, theiving cunt.
    fuck chael sonnen

  • elsicilian says:

    Didn’t Sonnen fail a post-fight drug test? I’m guessing his erstwhile victory would have been overturned and the belt returned to Silva …

  • John Petit says:

    At some point, when you defend as many times as GSP and Anderson has, and have broken as many records as he has-you earn the immediate rematch with anyone who beats you. I’m not sure people realize, you don’t take the belt away from GSP and Silva with one win…its 2. They need to plan like its game 7 leading into the finals, and then they have to play the world series. In a few years, Jones might qualify for this as well-possibly Aldo. its 230 am here, so Im probably missing someone obvious-but thats how i see it.

    Good Stuff D/S

  • MCM says:

    It’s a good point John, but I don’t think Silva would have gotten the rematch simply because he was beat down so hard by Chael that there was no cause for them to do it again. It wasn’t like Penn/Edgar where it was a competitive, close fight with one wonky judging. Chael beat Anderson from pillar to post in every aspect of the game. I actually think that IF Chael had won, A.S. would have retired right then and there.
    Same with GSP. If he loses a close fight with Condit, they will give him the rematch. But if he takes a beating like the one he gave Fitch (and presuming Kampmann wins as well) I think he’ll have to win two more before getting another shot at gold.

    A dominant, decisive win negates a rematch every time. At least that’s how it should be.


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