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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Chael Sonnen's been making some media rounds with his UFC 148 bout with Anderson Silva fast approaching. The outspoken American challenger appeared on 750 the Game in Portland with John Canzano this week, and said he's got just one thing on his mind: capturing the title.
"I like to say I've waited my whole life," Silva said (transcribed by SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I've been in sports forever and I've always tried to, if I wasn't trying to be an Olympic Gold medalist, I was trying to be a World Champion so this is the opportunity and this guy specifically, we competed a couple of years ago so I've waited two years just for the opportunity so it's really a life's work that's going to come down to five rounds."
"I've only got one style. I've only got one mindset to go in regardless of the opponent or what the circumstances are. My skills are my skills. I will bring those into the ring. I'm going to be on him and there's going to be a fist fight I can tell you that."
When it comes to Silva, Sonnen's had many negative things to say over the past two years. Ultimately, it comes down to Sonnen not believing in the mystique Silva has built up over his undefeated run in the UFC, and feeling like he can and will expose him on July 7.
"Yeah he's just a person," Sonnen said. "You hear those things but they told us that about Mike Tyson too and what a wimp that guy turned out to be when he finally got some real competition. He's kind of like the Mike Tyson of our era where they say certain things but at the end of the day when they lock that cage door he's not going to have a friend and he's not going to have a two-by-four and I'm sure he could use either one when I get my hands on him."
"I have tunnel vision. I have a goal. I don't think you can retire from a sport unless you win a world title. I think you just quit. I had to quit wrestling. I tried to win an Olympic medal and I couldn't make the team so it hurts and that's not a good feeling when you dedicate and sacrifice so I'm going to do everything I can to win but that's capitalism. That's the way it goes in all business. You succeed and you have a great path, if you don't you don't so I will control my own destiny and I will bring everything on the seventh."
Penick's Analysis: Silva's got a better record of sustained success than Tyson did down the stretch, but it's an interesting comparison. Sonnen's essentially saying Silva's never had any legitimate competition (a funny notion considering names Silva has beat and who Sonnen has lost to), and that he's the one that's going to expose Silva for who he believes him to be. Well, he nearly accomplished something similar at UFC 117, but he lost the fight in a spectacular final finish by Silva. Whether he's able to repeat that what brought him success for four and a half rounds remains to be seen, but he'll clearly need something more to finish the job this time around.
[Chael Sonnen art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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