The winner of Chael Sonnen’s co-headlining collision with Michael Bisping this Saturday night at UFC on FOX 2 will earn a coveted crack at the UFC middleweight championship. However, as far as Sonnen is concerned it’s the same as any other fight he’s ever been in.
“I’m not after a title shot, and this is the big thing that separates me from everyone else,” explained Sonnen in an interview with the UFC’s website. “I’ve never asked for a title shot and it’s not about a title shot – it’s about the title.”
The 34-year old’s interest in the gold is not unlike his peers’ but where his opinion differs from most relates to the difference between the worth of a “title shot” in comparison to that of a champion’s legacy.
“For so many guys, they want that title shot and they sit and they argue and they go to the media and they politick for these opportunities, and I’ll fight my way through,” Sonnen continued. “And if somebody can beat me, then I don’t deserve it; if somebody can beat me, then they should go have it. I don’t need politics or the media or anything else to propel me. If my skills and my ability won’t do it, then I don’t want it. It’s not about the shot and these fake opportunities because you politicked your way through the system. I will punch my way through the system, and if it fails me, then I shouldn’t be there in the first place.”
As far as what belt he’ll actually be fighting for, though UFC President Dana White has been adamant in saying Sonnen will fight Anderson Silva a second time if he emerges victorious, the 26-11-1 grappler has been equally firm in his opinion that “The Spider” won’t face him in a rematch after narrowly escaping their original encounter with his title in tow.
“He can go off and do what he wants,” said Sonnen of Silva. “But he will be remembered the same way Mike Tyson is – as a phony. I had to grow up hearing Mike Tyson was the best fighter in the world when he was never – not for one day of his life – the best fighter in America. He never won a national title as a kid, he never made an Olympic team as an amateur, he could never beat Evander Holyfield, he never was the best fighter in America, but for 10 years they told us he was the world champ. It’s the same with Anderson. He’ll be remembered the same way. His pocketbook and his bank account will look really good, and he’ll be remembered as the wimp that he is.”
Before anything Sonnen will have to get by Bisping at this weekend’s epic event on FOX. The show starts at 8:00 PM EST with preliminary action on Fuel TV/Facebook in the hours preceding the main card clashes.