Opinion: Phil Davis, Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida All Want Chael Sonnen
By Michael Hatamoto
Chael Sonnen beat Mauricio “Shogun” Rua during the first round of UFC Fight Night 26’s main event in Boston last night, and now has been challenged by multiple fighters.
It’s incredible how fast people were willing to challenge Sonnen, as the experienced veteran holding UFC wins against Shogun, Michael Bisping, Brian Stann, Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami and Dan Miller. Sonnen’s only recent losses have been against Jon Jones and Anderson Silva (twice), showing he’s a durable fighter able to evolve at an older age.
Phil Davis, fresh off his controversial decision win against Lyoto Machida, would like a fight against Sonnen:
Enough is enough… I want to fight @sonnench for the whole country of Brazil! Name a time, name a date and bring your face!
— Phil Davis (@PhilMrWonderful) August 18, 2013
Machida, a former UFC light heavyweight champion and challenging opponent to fight, also said he wouldn’t mind a fight against Sonnen:
— Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) August 18, 2013
Vitor Belfort also expressed interest in a fight with Sonnen, despite the Brazilian slugger rumored to fight Machida later this year.
Everyone willing to challenge Sonnen understands two basic facts: the ‘American Gangster’ is tough and is a high-profile fight that will garner a lot of attention.
Following his destruction of Shogun during the main event, Sonnen verbally called out Wanderlei Silva for a matchup at middleweight or light heavyweight. I think Sonnen vs. Silva would be an easy fight to sell – and has been a grudge match in the making – but I understand why Davis and Belfort both called out Sonnen.
I would like to see Sonnen fight Silva just because of the amount of bad blood between both fighters, but a Sonnen vs. Machida fight would be fascinating. Would Sonnen be able to grab Machida and drag him down to the ground, or would Machida’s accurate striking and fancy footwork lead to a KO/TKO win?