Chael Sonnen was only three minutes away from ending UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s undefeated UFC streak and taking home the championship. However, it was not to be, as Silva was able to catch Sonnen in a double triangle-armbar submission with minutes left in the fight to retain his title.
“It’s devastating. I can’t sugar-coat it. My heart’s broken,” said Sonnen at the UFC 117 post-fight press conference. “I came back with a silver medal. I wrestled for a world championship, I came in second. I fought in the WEC for a world championship, I came in second. Now, I fought in the UFC and again, I’m a runner-up and it hurts really bad.”
Sonnen dominated the champion for four straight rounds, and found himself winning the fifth round before getting caught. Sonnen noted that he didn’t know how much time was left in the round before Silva was able to clinch in the submission.
“I didn’t know how much time was left. I heard someone just reference that there was about a minute and ten seconds (left). I didn’t know that,” he admitted. “Frankly, you even get lost in what round it is. He hit me real hard a couple times. He kicked me real hard a couple times. You get a little disorientated. You’re just in the middle of a fistfight on a Saturday night. There’s not a lot of thinking. A lot of people like to talk about strategy and thinking and blah, blah, blah. It’s a fistfight in the middle of Oakland, California in a steel cage.”
Despite the loss, Sonnen feels that he and Silva are at the top of the middleweight rankings.
“There’s no question this sport is different from any other,” he stated. “In other sports, like basketball or baseball, there are championships, but they are really national champions. In this sport, we scour planet Earth and came up with the two best guys. In the rankings tomorrow, we’ll still be the two best guys. I have one goal. It’s to be the world champion. And I’m not backing up on that goal.”
Sonnen went on to note that he didn’t regret his six-month trash talking of the champion.
“I don’t apologize for anything, I never did, and if I ever backed off from my stance I would send myself a pink slip and move on in life,” said Sonnen. “I have one goal, it’s to be the world champion, and I’m not backing off that goal because of tonight’s decision. …I’m not Dog the Bounty Hunter. I don’t issue apologies and you’re not going to be the first to get one out of me.”
Sonnen noted that he wanted a rematch with Silva, comparing fighting Silva to Chinese food, stating, “twenty minutes after I do it, I’m going to want to do it again.
“If it’s Anderson or I have to go up after the guys at 205 or go on a diet and go after ]WEC featherweight champion] Jose Aldo, it doesn’t matter,” he continued. “If you’ve got the belt, I’m coming after you.”