Last Saturday Chael Sonnen fought Brain Stann knowing that the winner would likely be the next man to contest Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight crown, a title The Spider has held for longer and defended more times than any man in history. Sonnen dominated Stann, tapping him out in the second.
A fighter coming off a momentous win offers one of humankind great exhibitions of frenzied rapture - think Chuck Liddell fists out at his side, screaming.
By contrast, moments after the Stann win, Sonnen's face was serious, even somber. He took the microphone, and in a sport that can be pretty over the top, Sonnen went way over the top. He pointed to Anderson Silva sitting ringside, and demanded a staple from the world of professional wrestling, a Loser Leaves Town match.
"Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck," Sonnen explained.
"Super Bowl weekend, the biggest rematch in the history of the business, I'm calling you out Silva, but we're upping the stakes."
"I beat you, you leave the division. You beat me, I will leave the UFC forever."
Sonnen had just days before then crossed the line saying in a radio interview with Muaro Ranallo, "You tell Anderson Silva I'm coming over and I'm kicking down his backdoor and patting his little lady on the ass and I'm telling her to make me a steak, medium-rare just how I like it."
Anderson Silva is probably awash at this very moment in very mixed feelings. He wants to beat Chael Sonnen silly or worse, but he doesn't want to make him a millionaire in doing so. And somewhere in his head, or at least that of his management, is the simple fact that Sonnen beat Silva for every moment of their fight, until he got triangled and tapped.
Knowing this, Sonnen is keeping up the death of 1,000 trash talks, this time via twitter:
"Anderson, you've got 24 hours to accept my offer. I suggest you take it, my next one won't be quite so nice."
Despite Silva's manager's suggestion yesterday that Sonnen should be at the back of the contender line, the fight appears inevitable. Until Silva accepts, it is very inevitable that Sonnen will continue to provoke and belittle Silva with unbridled skill, and glee.
Since Silva is unlikely to sign the contract in the next 24 hours, the sport is likely to be treated to the "or else" referred to above.
What will it be?
Like Mt. T's Clubber Lang from Rocky III, will Sonnen talk about his woman? "Hey, Woman! Listen here. Since your old man ain't got no heart, maybe you like to see a real man. I bet you stay up late every night dreamin' you had a real man, don't ya? I'll tell you what. Bring your pretty little self over to my apartment tonight, and I'll show you a real man."
Like Mike Tyson prodding Lennox Lewis into a fight, will Sonnen talk about his children? "I'm the best ever. I'm the most brutal and vicious, the most ruthless champion there's ever been. There's no one can stop me. Lennox is a conquerer? No, I'm Alexander, he's no Alexander. I'm the best ever! There's never been anybody as ruthless! I'm Sonny Liston, I'm Jack Dempsey. There's no one like me. I'm from their cloth. There is no one who can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart! I want to eat his children! Praise be to Allah!"
And Lennox Lewis didn't even have any children at the time.
Will Sonnen borrow from the greatest trash talk in fight history, Muhammad Ali? There is a lot to choose from. "I should be a postage stamp. That's the only way I'll ever get licked ... If you ever dream of beating me, you better wake up and apologise ... I'll beat him so hard he'll need a shoehorn to put his hat on ... I've seen him shadow boxing, and the shadow won ... If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you."
The only thing you can count on is that there will be more talk, and in the end, Sonnen and Silva are going to fight, and everyone is going to want to see it.
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