Opinion: UFC Ruined Chael Sonnen vs. Rashad Evans Hype Train
By Michael Hatamoto
Win or lose on Saturday night, Chael Sonnen knows what is next for him in 2014: coaching on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and finally settling a grudge with arch nemesis, Wanderlei Silva.
I don’t think it made much sense for the UFC to announce the Sonnen vs. Silva matchup so early, especially before UFC 167 this weekend. Instead of promoting Sonnen’s fight with former champion Rashad Evans, which clearly lacks a feud or rivalry, the UFC skipped ahead to focus on Sonnen’s next fight.
This is an extremely important fight for Evans, as the former light-heavyweight champion won’t drop down to middleweight and is looking to remain relevant in the light-heavyweight division. The Blackzilians fighter said he would like to work his way towards a Jones rematch – and possible crack at the championship – and a win against Sonnen is the first necessary step towards that goal.
The UFC clearly wants to rely on the Sonnen-Silva rivalry to help build momentum towards the latest TUF: Brazil season – and a fight that should have happened years ago. Even with all of the continued trash talk back and forth, I don’t see Silva keeping the fight competitive, and expect Sonnen to either submit or grind him down for a unanimous decision win.
Sonnen has proven that a good wrestling background, work ethic, and WWE-type marketing gimmick – and it has clearly proven to be a major draw. Even though he was unable to defeat then-champion Anderson Silva at middleweight and Jon Jones at light-heavyweight, there are plenty of opponents fans want to see him step into the cage with.
Follow Full Contact Fighter this weekend to see how Sonnen and Evans do in their scheduled clash.