Mixed Martial Arts

OTR Interview with UFC's Sonnen ends in walk-off

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TSN.ca Staff
11/16/2011 5:52:03 PM
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As Chael Sonnen awaits his rematch with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, it's Michael Landsberg who gets to square off with the number one contender on Wednesday's edition of Off The Record.

After earning a submission victory over Brian Stann at UFC 136, Sonnen challenged Silva to what he called "the biggest rematch in the history of the business," and offered to increase the stakes.

"I beat you, [and] you leave the division. You beat me, and I will leave the UFC forever," Sonnen declared in October.

However, recent reports indicate Sonnen isn't willing to agree to those terms now, which proved to be a contentious issue when Landsberg asked about it.

"You might want to take the base out of your tone, I'm not sure you know who you're talking to here, but I've never backed down from anything, so check your facts," stated Sonnen.

When Landsberg specifically referred to Sonnen's challenge to Silva, the issue became even more muddled.

"What are you talking about?," asked Sonnen. "What is this, your first day on the job? You're mixing five different stories here. This is like doing amateur hour or something. What show am I on here? Is this for public radio?"

Sonnen, who repetitively referred to himself as 'the champion', continued to take offence to any suggestion that he was backing down, even pulling Canada into the discussion.

"If I tell you I'll sell you my car for $10,000, do you think I can just call you back a year from now and say 'I'll take the $10,000 for the car'?," asked Sonnen. "That's not how offers work. Is that how you do business in Canada? Cause in my country, that created business, offers expire.

"I made him an offer, apparently it didn't work, he didn't accept it," said Sonnen. "It's not that I backed down, but apparently I need to present him with a new offer. You guys probably don't do that in socialism, but in America, in a capitalistic society, that's how things work."

UFC president Dana White has already announced that Silva and Sonnen will meet in a title bout in 2012, however Silva first needs to recover from bursitis in his shoulder.

Sonnen provided Silva with one of the toughest challenges of his career when the two met in the main event at UFC 117 in 2010. Despite getting the best of Silva in the first four rounds, the champion was able to secure a triangle armbar and come away with a victory at 3:10 of the final round. 

When asked if he has been working on his Jiu-Jitsu to avoid another submission at the hands of Silva, Sonnen once again appeared visibly annoyed, stating that he works on skills everyday.

When Sonnen denied that his Jiu-Jitsu was deficient during the first meeting with Silva, Landsberg pondered how Sonnen could have let Silva steal the victory after he had beaten the champion for four straight rounds.

"It's a two-man sport, it's not a matter of letting somebody do something," said Sonnen. "A guy walks his whole life, it doesn't mean he doesn't stumble every now and then."

As the conversation continued Landsberg and Sonnen continued to verbally joust before Sonnen eventually removed his microphone and walked off the set mid-interview.

It's been an interesting two years for Sonnen since the first meeting with Silva, which won Fight of the Night honours. With such a strong showing by the challenger, a rematch seemed inevitable until post-fight drug tests showed Sonnen had an elevated testosterone level.

Sonnen was given a one-year suspension by the California State Athletic Commission, which he appealed on the grounds that he was taking testosterone injections for medical conditions and that he had been granted approval by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. 

The suspension was eventually reduced to six months and after being reinstated, Sonnen returned to the octagon against Stann. 

Chael Sonnen  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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