On Saturday night, Anderson Silva beat Chael Sonnen at UFC 148. It was a long time coming for the UFC’s middleweight champion who had listened to Sonnen talk shit for more than two years, dating back to before their bout in August 2010. By now, you’ve seen how the fight ended – and I’ve included the beginning of the end here in gif form. After all that talk, Sonnen’s camp will not go quietly into the night. Chael’s coach Scott McQuarry is planning to appeal the loss. Via MMAjunkie:
“Obviously, there were minor infractions of grabbing shorts and greasing himself up,” McQuarry said. “But the knee to the face … I’ve looked at it from numerous angles. I can see where it hit his face. It did slide down to his chest. But that should be considered a no-contest.
“What I’m looking for is a rematch.”
As silly as appealing a TKO as definitive as that may sound, McQuarry’s complains are not completely without merit. I’ll go through all three individually. Partially to help organize my thoughts and partially to make the post look more appealing. People love lists.
1. “grabbing the shorts”
Anderson Silva was blatantly grabbing Chael Sonnen’s shorts in the second round. This is illegal. Silva was warned early in the round not to grab shorts, but he kept doing it – while the referee was on the out of view. If he had seen this, he likely would have taken a point from Silva. In the end, who cares? It didn’t go to a decision. All it means is that Chael Sonnen was at the very worst, tied when the referee pulled Silva off him.
2. “greasing himself up”
An Anderson Silva specialty. Before entering the cage, fighters have Vaseline applied to their face to help prevent cuts. During introductions, Anderson Silva is famous for taking the Vaseline and reapplying it to his chest and arms. This helps keep him slick and harder to take down. Someone obviously alerted referee Yves Lavigne who took a towel to Silva after introductions. Again, in the end, does it matter? That wrong was righted before the fight even began. Sonnen proceeded to take Silva down immediately.
3. “knee to the face”
As you can see (over and over and over again) Silva threw a vicious knee towards Chael Sonnen’s chest. If it didn’t hit his face flush, it at least made some contact with it. At full speed, it was a dangerous knee that bordered on illegal, missing Sonnen’s face by a whisker. As soon as it landed, Twitter exploded with “illegal knee!?!?” tweets. I was among them. It’s as hard as you can legally knee a grounded opponent in the face without getting into trouble. Of course, this will be the main point of contention for Sonnen’s camp.
“It was pretty evident to me that there was intent on Anderson’s part to do an illegal knee, and I think he was trying to get disqualified still,” McQuary said. “I think Anderson’s hope the whole time was that he would do an illegal thing, he would get disqualified, and then I don’t know what his plan was after that.
I’m not sure intent matters. And I still doubt that Anderson ever wanted “out” of the fight against Chael. Moving on.
In about 35 minutes of cage time, Chael Sonnen has won 5 total rounds against Anderson Silva. The only times he wasn’t winning has been when he was losing. Sonnen is the only person in the last 4 years to put any real pressure on Anderson Silva. (Dan Henderson was able to push Silva for about a round.) If Sonnen wants a rematch, he’s going to make a compelling case. When you’re 0-2 against a guy, it’s going to be impossible for anyone to take Sonne’s schtick seriously. He’s going to need to become the hard-working guy who sets up a third fight with his performance and nto his mouth or some pointless appeal.