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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Chael Sonnen enters next Saturday's UFC 148 event supremely confident he's going to defeat Anderson Silva in their UFC Middleweight Championship rematch. He has had the most success of any fighter in the UFC against Silva, nearly picking up a decision win at UFC 117 before getting submitted in the fifth and final round.
Expecting a win in this rematch, Sonnen already knows who he'd like to fight next after defeating Silva in Las Vegas.
"Some guys say they like a hard fight," Sonnen said in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. "I like easy fights, so I'm hoping they'll rematch me against Anderson."
Outside of what would be a rubber match between the two fighters, Sonnen's got some very specific requirements for whomever he'd defend his title against if he captures the belt on July 7.
"Here's the deal: I'm not going to fight anybody that didn't fight Anderson," Sonnen said. "The locker room is full of cowards that would never come forward and never wanted to fight him and ducked him and dodged him because they were scared of him."
"If you had the courage to fight him, then you've got the right to fight me. But if you're one of those cowards that sat back and hid, you're not getting a shot. Now if you called him out, I'll count that as fighting him, but you're going to find anyone besides me that called the guy out."
Penick's Analysis: If Chael Sonnen pulls off the win next Saturday night, a rubber match is almost assuredly going to be the next fight the UFC books. It would be insane not to, as it's sure to be a very big fight on pay-per-view, and if Silva suffers his first loss in the UFC it's going to be a huge, huge deal. Still, Sonnen's got to pick up the win first, something he failed to do two years ago despite coming immensely close. Next weekend's bout is going to be huge, but if he does pull it off the UFC may have an even bigger third bout on their hands.
[Chael Sonnen art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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