King Smack Talk might get his wish
It looks like Chael ‘king of smack talk’ Sonnen is gonna get his wish to take on Machida.
From his interview with Ariel Helwani:
“I don’t know what the future holds, there are plenty of guys out there to fight. There’s a karate guy at 205 pounds, I might stop there on my way back to 185 for a tuneup fight and take out Machida.”
“I think that’s great, I’m excited to do that. He’s coming back now, wants to fight, and I really think it’s a good fight for me. If Sonnen really wants this fight, I’ll sign it immediately, no problem at all.”
It doesn’t get better than that, Chael has been calling out everyone from Anderson Silva’s camp, plus the whole country of Brazil for a few moths now. Is it a strategy to get into Silva’s head or is he just trying to make money with hype that will guarantee lots of eyes on the event? A win over Machida definitely gets Anderson’s attention, not to mention the attention of Dana White and the UFC matchmakers. Does it fast track him back to a title shot? That remains to be seen. I say ‘yes’. If he loses, it poses no harm either, because he is a 185lber, losing to an accomplished (ex champion no less) 205er.
It’s a win win for Chael, and a lose lose for Machida. What does Machida gain form a ‘W’? A ‘L’? Nothing for the ‘W’ except high fives from his team mates, and probably a lifetime of free drinks in Brazil. For the ‘L’, well, that lands him lower on ladder (actually, the basement below the ladder is more like it) leading to a title shot. The only way this fight helps Machida is if he wins in devastating fashion (think Evans and his fish mouth), if he wins by decision, it may even be worse than losing by KO/TKO or sub. A decision means he was taken to task by a 185bler. A KO/TKO can be written off as lucky or a simple mistake leading to a loss. I can’t believe in the eyes of the UFC/Dan White, this fight is beneficial for Machida in any way what so ever.
However, there is a 3rd opponent who a ‘W’ would benefit on many many levels. The Brazilians! Chael Sonnen has gone out of his way to put his xenophobia on display, putting Brazil and by extension, Brazilians in his cross hairs. It would be a ‘W’ for the Brazilians, all of whom I suspect want to see Chael knocked out by a Brazilian Fighter, any Brazilian Fighter, hell, a Brazilian bus boy, or even a Brazilian Tranny would still make them happy. Actually, that last one might make them the happiest. They won’t begrudge a urine drinking Karate expert for a nice clean win either.
Machida has the weight of an entire country, title aspirations, and teammates riding on his shoulders. Chael has none of these stresses, who do you think will win?