A lot of fans were talking about Sonnen vs. Shogun as a ‘do or die’ fight. UFC fight night 26 was the opportunity for these two veterans to stake their claim at relevance, but only one man took the bull by the horns.
Chael Sonnen dominated the Brazilian from the jump, earning a submission victory and culminating the worst night of sports picks that I ever made. Its true that UFC FN 26 was an awesome night of fights, but also there were some very unpredictable results.
The biggest shock of the night for me was how easily Sonnen walked through Rua, and it leaves me pondering on what’s next for Shogun and Chael P. For Rua, the prognosis is not so good, currently riding a two fight losing streak; things could not be worse.
I said in the lead up to this scrap that these guys needed to prove that they still have what it takes to compete, Sonnen certainly proved that, but Rua is a different story. It breaks my heart, because Shogn is in my top five fighters list, but I think he may be just about finished now.
He has compiled a 5-6 record since joining the UFC, and has looked less than stellar in his most recent bouts. He looked great in training, looked in shape, but lacked the killer instinct that is required at this level in the game. We’ve seen this before against Mark Coleman and Forrest Griffin, but I really thought last night could be his re-birth.
I doubt he will get axed from last night’s performance, but he will surely be facing a win or bin fight against an upper-lower tier fighter in the near future.
Sonnen, alternatively, has the world at his feet following his decimation of the former Pride FC champion. He needed a big win last night, and boy did he get it. With the trash talk in the lead up to the fight mainly aimed at Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort, it seems that Sonnen finally has his focus back.
He let his hands do the talking against Rua, something we haven’t seen him do in a while. His inevitable drop to Middleweight opens the door to a plethora of questions. The main one being ‘Who’s next?’ The answer is uncertain at this point. I hate to say it, but Sonnen is probably going to be looking at a high level fight at this point (* washes mouth out).
Vitor Belfort is a name that springs to mind, and the truth is that Sonnen could probably win that fight. Are we seeing Sonnen’s road to that title shot he talks so much about? Anderson Silva was even a name uttered by Sonnen recently; I’m not crazy about that fight right now though.
Sonnen needs another convincing win, over a top tier opponent before we can even consider him for that kind of stake. If you look at it realistically, who else is there to fight at 185lbs? Another answer is Wandy…
Do I really want to see the Oregon OG destroy two of my all time favorite fighters? No. Sonnen could probably get anyone he wants right now, so stay tuned to Lowkick for more news!