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Chael Sonnen: I’ve accomplished more in MMA than Anderson Silva

Sonnen continues verbal assault; Silva won’t take bait

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Las Vegas Sun

Middleweight fighter Chael Sonnen listens to a reporter’s question during an interview at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

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Anderson Silva believes the best way to promote a fight is to let his talent and accomplishments in mixed martial arts speak for themselves.

The man he's slated to fight Aug. 7 in Oakland, Calif., has a different approach.

Middleweight No. 1 contender Chael Sonnen launched yet another verbal assault on the defending champion during a media conference call Tuesday.

After listening to Silva provide short, one- or two-word answers to many of the questions on the call, Sonnen erupted and accused him of not understanding how the fight business works.

"He truly believes people are coming to see a fight and nothing else," Sonnen said. "People don't want to just see two guys fight. They want to know why they're fighting. He thinks he's taking the moral high road. Doesn't he know anything about business?

"Then he stands there with his chest out like we should pat him on the back and say, 'Good job, Anderson. You're training really hard.' Well, guess what, dummy? I've been training really hard since I was 9, and I still have time to bring interest into me whipping your ass on Aug. 7."

Over the last five months, Sonnen (26-10-1) has done everything from call Silva's black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a Cracker Jack prize to swear he was going to put him on his back "more than a (prostitute) with a mortgage."

Despite the comments, Silva (26-4) and his manager, Ed Soares, have refused to get involved in a war of words with Sonnen.

During Tuesday's call, Silva simply said he viewed Sonnen's answers as "funny."

As a result, Sonnen says he feels as though he's promoting the fight by himself.

"There's no argument. Of course I'm promoting this fight myself," Sonnen said. "But that's the way it should be. Nobody wants to hear from Anderson anyway.

"Who cares what Anderson has to say? I'm the one carrying the show. I really don't even know why he's here."

Sonnen's obvious intentions of promoting the fight have some wondering if he truly does feel animosity toward Silva — or if the talk is all show.

While there's no doubt Sonnen's main goal is to generate interest in his career, there did appear to be honesty in some of his responses.

Although he's fought professionally since 2002, Sonnen only recently has grabbed the attention of the MMA community — something he says he deserved much sooner.

"I've beat the champion of every company except for the UFC," Sonnen said. "I've accomplished far more in this sport than Anderson Silva. He's accomplished more in this company, but he doesn't have the résumé in this sport that I have.

"The fact you guys finally started paying attention versus the fact I've been beating guys for eight years — that's you being behind, not me.

Sonnen also admitted that despite some of his previous comments, he doesn't necessarily think taking Silva to the ground will be easy.

An accomplished wrestler, Sonnen may have the advantage if he holds Silva down. The 33-year-old fighter said he doesn't see it that simply.

"I don't really think he's going to be that easy to get down," Sonnen said. "I can't just command him to his back. On top of that, I can't think of anybody who has out-grappled him anyway.

"But I've fought 41 men and never been out-struck on my feet. So, as much as we keep trying to act like I've got to get him down or he's got to keep it up, that's really not the case."

While both are handling the stress differently, the fighters will be under a lot of pressure come the UFC 117 main event.

Sonnen faces the challenge of backing up all the words that have come out of his mouth in 2010.

Silva, who has been accused of fooling around in his previous fights, has been warned by UFC President Dana White he'll be cut from the organization if he doesn't drop his antics.

Although Sonnen said Siva's behavior won't have an effect on him inside the octagon, he said he'd be happy to see him gone after Aug. 7.

"He's got the right to employ any strategy he feels will get his hand raised," Sonnen said. "I don't care about sportsmanship or honor. It's a fight.

"I just don't like him. I don't offer any apology. We can't all get along, and he and I aren't going to be friends. I don't wish him a bad life, but I'm going to take his belt on Aug. 7, and Dana is going to fire him on Aug. 8."

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at LVSunFighting

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