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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Chael Sonnen may have been beaten by Anderson Silva on Saturday night at UFC 148, but the story isn't over there. Sonnen was respectful of Silva after the event, saying "the better man won tonight," but his camp isn't pleased with what they perceived to be multiple violations by the UFC Middleweight Champion throughout the fight.
"Chael's not the kind of guy who likes to complain after a fight," said Sonnen's head trainer Scott McQuarry in an interview with Jonathan Snowden at BleacherReport.com. "I felt I needed to take this action to protect him. At the point of impact, Anderson had his hand locked in the cage and his feet left the ground. We believe his intentions were clear."
"We started the process of filing a complaint with the Nevada Athletic Commission. We believe the knee that Anderson Silva threw was illegal with the clear intent to strike the face. And it did in fact connect with the face. Chael bit his tongue and needed eight stitches."
An appeal ultimately won't be filed, as McQuarry said he was informed by Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer that the result wouldn't be overturned based off his complaint.
However, McQuarry is instead demanding that there be another rematch between Silva and Sonnen. He argues that the knee, along with Silva grabbing Sonnen's shorts - which drew a warning - and wiping vaseline from his face to his body, which was then wiped down by a commission official, were infractions enough to cloud the outcome. Because of that, they feel the fight should be done over.
"What I'm going to do is change my tactic," McQuarry said. "We're going to ask for a rematch. We deserve a rematch. If the only way Anderson Silva can win is by cheating, we need to keep a closer eye on Silva before and during a fight. And we need a rematch now. Legal knee or illegal knee, there's enough doubt with all the fouls to warrant a rematch...
"[Fans] need to call the UFC. We need a rematch. Chael is a great champion and deserves a fair fight."
Penick's Analysis: The appeal would have gone nowhere, because the knee wasn't in any way, shape, or form illegal. Here's a .gif image of the sequence: http://www.imgnook.com/2avKlo.gif. Silva's knee was directed low at Sonnen's chest, and that's where it landed. If the thigh grazed Sonnen's face, his right arm was still in front of it, blocking it. Even still, the thigh incidentally contacting his face doesn't make it an illegal strike. The knee landing would have been illegal, but the knee didn't land, and the perceived intent doesn't mean a thing here either. As to the complaints from the vaseline, Silva was wiped down immediately, and has done the same motion in every fight he's had in the UFC; and he was warned about the shorts grabbing, something the referee had discretion over. This isn't a tainted win for Silva. He landed a vicious legal strike with that knee, and the rest of his attack came after the shorts grabbing incident and wasn't in any way assisted by the vaseline (that had been wiped off). This seems like Sonnen's camp grasping at straws to try to set up the third fight, but I don't think it's going to work. That said, the UFC may decide to go with that storyline, and allow Sonnen to spout off that he wasn't legitimately beaten because of these things, setting up one more money rematch.
[Chael Sonnen art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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