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Saturday, 05/04/2013, 10:50 am

Chael Sonnen’s UFC Legacy


By Evan Stoumbelis (@MMAEvan)

Sonnen has been called “The most legendary talker in UFC history” with a quick tongue and the ability to hype a fight that hasn’t been seen since the likes of Muhammad Ali, lets face it, Chael Sonnen is the best promoter in the world.

When you hear the name Chael Sonnen what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Unfortunately, for most people it’s his trash talk and prefight antics. With Chael Sonnen’s career winding down and a match with Wanderlai Silva on the horizon, at some point we have to ask the question: How will Chael Sonnen be remembered?

Chael has put together a 27-13 record over the course of his MMA career and a 6-6 record inside the Octagon. Given the fact that 3 of those losses came at the hands of arguably the two greatest fighters in the history of the sport, it would be fair to say Sonnen is better than his UFC record gives him credit for. To this day Sonnen remains the only man on planet Earth to ever pose a serious challenge to Anderson Silva.

An alternate on the 2000 Olympic wrestling team, Sonnen holds a 59% takedown success rating and 44 total takedowns landing him in the top 10 for total takedowns landed in UFC history, with many of the fighters higher than him having more fights under the UFC banner. Whether you like him or not Sonnen is widely considered to be the greatest wrestler in the history of the UFC, and that is by no means a small accomplishment, but his wrestling talent in the UFC has been somewhat overshadowed by his controversial comments and trash talking. Sonnen’s insults against the country of Brazil warranted Dana White hiring private security, and a decoy limo for Sonnen during the UFC 148 press conference in Brazil.

Let’s face it, whether you want to see him win or lose, you watch Chael Sonnen fight. His prefight trash talk is unparalleled. UFC 148: Sonnen vs. Silva II is tied for 6th for most PPV buys in UFC history, drawing in 1 million buys. In 2012 Sonnen ranked in the top 50 out of 381 for 2012 salaries, not including his cut of PPV buys, and putting him at 6th on the top 10 UFC PPV draws list.

When most people think of Chael Sonnen they think of the fighter that insulted a nation, abused TRT, and came up short in 3 title fights. However Chael Sonnen should be remembered as the greatest wrestler in Mixed Martial Arts history, the only man to come close to defeating Anderson Silva, and the greatest fight promoter in the history of professional sports.

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