Ben Askren questions why Chael Sonnen agreed to boxing fight with UFC legend Anderson Silva on June 15

Ben Askren questions why Chael Sonnen agreed to a boxing fight with UFC legend Anderson Silva on June 15

‘Funky’ is not a fan of Chael Sonnen taking a boxing match with Anderson Silva.

On Friday, June 15, ‘The American Gangster’ will step inside the squared circle for a trilogy bout with his greatest UFC rival in Brazil. The bout will come nearly a dozen years removed from their last meeting inside the Octagon and weeks before their inaugural meeting at UFC 117 is forever enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame.

Chael Sonnen

The announcement came as a shock to fight fans considering Chael Sonnen, a former three-time UFC title challenger, was best known for his wrestling skills rather than his stand-up game — as was the case with former ONE and Bellator MMA champion Ben Askren when he signed up for a boxing match with YouTube sensation Jake Paul.

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At the time, Paul was still making a name for himself in the world of combat sports, unlike Silva who is already considered to be one of the best strikers in MMA history.

Anderson Silva

Appearing alongside Daniel Cormier on a recent episode of their Funky and the Champ YouTube show, Askren expressed confusion over Sonnen’s decision to box Silva, suggesting that absolutely nothing good can come of it on the side of the West Linn, Oregon native.

“I don’t know,” Askren said. “Chael, I love you, but I don’t know why you’re boxing,” Askren said. “At least when I took my boxing fight, I thought this dude (Paul) sucked. I thought he was really bad. Unfortunately for me, he’s not all that bad and he’s continued to be a boxer and win boxing matches.

“I really don’t know why Chael’s doing it. Anderson is a very good striker. He’s actually had multiple boxing matches… beat Julio César Chávez. So I don’t know why he’s doing it” (h/t MMA News).

Chael Sonnen has not fought since 2019

Outside of their vastly different runs in mixed martial arts, Anderson Silva has already proven himself in the ring, earning victories over former UFC champion Tito Ortiz and the aforementioned Julio César Chávez in 2021. Meanwhile, Sonnen hasn’t sniffed competition since a second-round knockout against Lyoto Machida five years ago — aside from beating the sh*t out of five people in a hotel for disrespecting his wife.

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Truth be told, the almighty dollar is probably the motivating factor here, but Askren is not wrong to suggest that Sonnen will be in for a rough night against ‘The Spider’ in South America.

Chael Sonnen