EDITORIAL | Chael Sonnen Reaching for One Perfect Performance
Chael Sonnen has become one of the most recognizable names and voices the UFC has ever spawned. His presence and persona along with the talent he possesses as a fighter have also made him one of the most successful fighters in the game today. However, Chael Sonnen is not fighting for fun, he’s not fighting for popularity, and he’s not fighting for the notoriety.
Chael has, time and time again, stated that there is nothing more important to him than eventually holding UFC gold. Even if for just one day, Sonnen continues to chase his dream of becoming Champion of the World. With his talent, work ethic, and his knowledge of the sport it wouldn’t be outrageous to think that Sonnen could easily attain a title. But that dragon he continues to chase somehow eludes him right as he has it by the tip of its tail. Still, Chael continues pressing forth, seemingly unfazed, looking for that one perfect performance to cash in for a UFC title.
Sonnen has experienced his fair share of ups and downs throughout his career. He’s won countless big fights, he’s lost several big fights, and although he is without a doubt one of the most successful and accomplished MMA athletes of all time he has yet to reach the pinnacle of the sport. For some odd reason Sonnen cannot crack the championship code in the UFC. Many would say that he cannot crack the championship code, period. Although Sonnen has held titles in other smaller promotions he has been scrutinized throughout his career for finding ways to lose in championship fights. Sonnen has had a horrible past of being submitted in big fights (8 of his 12 losses have come by way of submission) and heading into this weekend’s title fight against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jonny “Bones” Jones that is not a statistic to overlook, especially since Jones has won 3 of his last 4 title fights via submission. So, needless to say, Sonnen is hoping that history will not repeat itself on Saturday.
Chael is still, without a doubt, a huge threat to “Bones” Jones. This weekend will be, statistically, Sonnen’s sixth title fight of his career and his third in the UFC. It could be said that Sonnen is right in the prime of his career and although he lost his first two UFC title fights to Anderson Silva at middleweight all it takes is one win for Sonnen to finally reach his dream. One win for Sonnen on Saturday night in New Jersey at UFC 159 could wash away all of the past title performances he has fallen short in. The past statistics of Sonnen’s career in title fights will be viewed as nothing more than practice leading up to this fight against Jones if he can finally pull it off and leave New Jersey as Light Heavyweight Champion of the World. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, all of Sonnen’s past titles, all of his championship victories have come while fighting at his more natural weight of 205 pounds…light heavyweight.
So although the odds are heavily stacked up against him, although Jones seems like an unbeatable force in the MMA ranks, and although Sonnen has had his trouble with title fights in the past, don’t count out “The American Gangster” just yet. After all, he made the immortal Anderson Silva look human for the first time and if anyone is going to come in to UFC 159 unafraid and confident it’s going to be Chael P. Sonnen. He knows that all he needs is one perfect performance and he’ll be looking for it on April 27th against Jonny “Bones” Jones.