Chael Sonnen Explains His Loss To Anderson Silva At UFC 117
Chael Sonnen fought for the UFC title twice in his career. Both times were against the middleweight champion, Anderson Silva. The first being at UFC 117, ten years ago.
On the night, the Oregon Native looked to be cruising towards the title, after dominating Silva for four rounds. Unfortunately for Sonnen, with under two minutes remaining in the fifth and final round, ‘The Spider’ secured a triangle choke and tapped out Sonnen, marking his seventh successful title defence.
“I’ve Never Watched That Fight”
Speaking to former UFC site coordinator Burt Watson for MMAJunkie, Sonnen stated that he has never watched back the infamous bout with Silva.
“I never watch any of my fights over,” Sonnen said. “It’s a weakness. I’d be better off if I did, but I never do. It makes my stomach nervous, my hands get sweaty – even if I know the outcome. I’ve never watched that fight, and I don’t think I ever will.”
What Round Is It?
Sonnen went on to explain one of the key reasons why he lost to Silva the way he did.
“OK, so that was my first time in the fifth round. I had been scheduled for two other fights that were five-round contests in the WEC, [but] we never saw all five rounds, though. So it was my first time in the fifth round,” he explained. “The reason I bring that up is when you talk about running out of gas, I can tell you I was for sure very tired. Now, I don’t ever remember having a fight in my life where I left with any energy. I used it all, and I’m used to being tired. But this maybe was another level.
“I do remember one thing, which was in the fifth round – which I had never been to before – the corner had told me before the round that it was the fourth round, that we had two rounds to go. And I only bring that up to you because I have often wondered would I have done something different if I knew there was only a minute left? A minute left and I’m gonna be the world champion as opposed to a whole other round. That isn’t an attempt to blame the corner, I’m just sharing a story with you about that specific moment.”
Five Round Club
Sonnen admits to losing track of the rounds during the fight, in part because it was the first time he had joined the ‘five round club’.
“Five isn’t all that big of a number, but when you’ve never been in the five round club before it’s a very unique experience,” Sonnen continued. “You can look at fighters that have been doing this 20-25 years – Vitor Belfort comes to mind, absolute legend, world champion, will be in the Hall of Fame. He is not in the five-round club. He has never gone five rounds, and I don’t suspect he ever will. It’s a very rare club. Not many guys ever main event or have a title fight [or] are ever put in five rounds, let alone go the duration.
“I did lose track of the rounds. I didn’t really know where I was and he hadn’t hit me that many times, but every time he hit me, it affected me. So between all of the chaos that goes on, [I] lost track of the rounds and it was a choke – it wasn’t an armbar – that made me tap. I didn’t really know where I was. … It’s one of these things that, when you start to go out, even if it’s for half a second, it could be five minutes. It’s kind of like when you go to sleep at night. Have I been asleep five hours? Have I been asleep five minutes? You have to look at a clock.
“It’s kind of one of those strange moments and I’ve never seen the fight.”
The two middleweights locked horns again two years later at UFC 148, but this time Silva put on a clinic and finished Sonnen in the second round.
Chael Sonnen last fought last June, where he lost to Lyoto Machida at Bellator 222. Anderson Silva is expected to make his final walk to the Octagon on October 31st against Uriah Hall.