Wanted a heated and lively edition of The Sunday Junkie? Simply put Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen in the cage.
Our weekly reader-feedback feature tackles all aspects of Saturday's UFC 148 blockbuster, including the legacy of the fight, whether Silva should be celebrated or vilified, why Sonnen deserves credit for the show's success, and how Forrest Griffin lost so many fans in a single night.
Our winning entry came from the U.K.'s Tony Quant, who believes Silva and Sonnen's post-fight class should trump any pre-event hijinks.
For his winning entry, Tony wins a free one-year subscription to "Fighters Only" magazine, the world's leading MMA and lifestyle magazine.
Want to submit to next week's edition of The Sunday Junkie? Scroll to the bottom of the page for instructions.
Also, as a reminder, please be sure to include your hometown and stick within the 150-word limit (and include your submission in the body of an email, not in an attachment). Many quality submissions this week didn't meet those minimum guidelines and couldn't be considered for publication.
(Pictured: Anderson Silva)
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SILVA AND SONNEN CREATE A HISTORIC MMA MOMENT
There was the first fight. There was the hype for the second fight. The shoulder barge at weigh-ins. The first round to Chael Sonnen. The finish by Anderson Silva. And all of that led to possibly the greatest moment in MMA history: when Silva and Sonnen gracefully and respectfully dropped the grudge after the fight. It goes to show just what a great sport MMA really is and how these guys, no matter what is said before or during the fight, really respect each other and each other's skills. In no other sport do guys go that hard at each other for 15 or 25 minutes and then embrace in such a respectful way. It's moments like these that are bound to pick up more mainstream fans and certainly knocks dead all the critics who brandish the sport barbaric. The real winner of UFC 148 is the sport of MMA.
Essex, United Kingdom
ANDERSON SILVA SHOWS THE EVERYTHING OF A TRUE CHAMPION
Anderson Silva extended and broke records yet again with another title defense at UFC 148. But it was his actions inside the octagon after the bout ended that impressed me most. Silva sternly instructed his supporters in attendance to show respect (by applauding) for the man who became his arch nemesis: Chael Sonnen. On the surface it may seem like a very easy gesture, especially considering he had just defeated the only guy who made him "appear human." You know what would have been even easier for Silva to do when hearing all of the boos for Sonnen after the fight? Nothing at all. Inside the octagon and outside the octagon, Silva always does the right things regardless of difficulty level or expectations or hype. From head to toe inside and out, Anderson Silva is not only a true champion but the best champion of any kind that we've ever seen.
Las Vegas, Nev.
SILVA FOREVER CHANGED THE UFC – IN A BAD WAY
Anderson Silva said that he would do something to change the UFC forever, and he did just that this weekend. Silva changed the sport and his image forever by throwing his shoulder into Chael Sonnen's face at the weigh-ins, saying unrepeatable vulgarities to Sonnen, wiping the Vaseline from his face onto his torso and arms during his fight introduction, and his extreme use of grabbing Sonnen's trunks during the fight. So we as fans are left with two options of change. The UFC must determine what that change is. Either they let Silva's actions and cheating go unpunished and turn MMA into WWE, or they insist integrity and honor remain in MMA and punish Silva accordingly. I will not pay to watch a sport where cheating is allowed and the cheater is hailed as "the best ever." Sonnen is no angel, but he also doesn't cheat.
North Las Vegas, Nev.
SILVA IS NO ROLE MODEL, EVEN AFTER WINNING
Anderson Silva may have successfully defended his title at UFC 148, but he is no role model after what he did at the weigh-ins and before the fight in the octagon. Silva sells himself as a "hero" and a "good guy," and not even Dana White thought he would do what he did at the weigh-ins. White said he thought Silva was too classy and respectful to do anything, and instead the champ ended up clipping Sonnen with a harsh shoulder jab to the chin that shocked everybody, including the president of the UFC. Then before the fight, Silva was caught by the ref rubbing his Vaseline off his face and putting it on his chest and shoulders to make takedowns easier to get out of. Silva then complained about "illegal" hits to the back of the head from Sonnen that were perfectly legal. Silva may be be a "hero" and a legendary fighter, but he is no role model.
Prescott Valley, Ariz.
SONNEN GOT US TO WATCH
UFC 148 earned $7 million at the gate, the largest payday in UFC-U.S. history. The PPV numbers are almost certain to break records as well. The nothing-new rematch card was full of over-the-hill fighters in uninspired bouts. Interest in the main event due to Chael P. Sonnen's over-the-top braggadocio translated into MMA fans shelling out top dollar to see a man fail for the second time at what no man on Earth can accomplish. Now that we the fans have paid in full, let the comment sections and message boards fill with our ingenious words of disdain for a challenger who actually reignited our interest in paying $50 to watch Anderson Silva win another fight.
Devin "Brian_Furry" Bayliss
SO WHERE ARE ALL THE SONNEN FANS? RIGHT HERE
So, where are all the Chael Sonnen fans now? I, for one, am right here. Listen, we can go on about his court case, TRT hearing or his disrespect for his opponent. We can also talk about how Anderson Silva held Sonnen's shorts for 20 full seconds at UFC 148 before the referee finally said something, or how he threw a cheap shot at weigh-ins. Holding the shorts prevented the takedown, and the cheap shot solidified him as a champion who didn't act like one at any point of the fight. Add to that a knee that was clearly intended to hit the face, and you have a recipe for no respect. Sonnen will probably not make any excuses, especially for the failed spinning backfist as he didn't do it in all the post-fight interviews. Again, I am right here, and I am still a Sonnen fight.
Louie "LouReigns" Reyes
SONNEN SHOULD MAKE ESPN'S NOT TOP 10
Chael Sonnen isn't one of the fighters you think of when it comes to pure athleticism. Sonnen has had a successful career due to the fact that he is dedicated and works harder than his opponents while training. This could not have been more evident during his second fight with Anderson Silva. Sonnen dominated Silva for the entire first round at UFC 148, and then about 90 seconds into the second round, Sonnen made a big mistake by attempting an awkward spinning backfist that caused him to fall to the canvas and left him open for a Silva assault. Sonnen should have stayed with what he does best and leave the flashy moves to Silva. For anyone who doesn't know what ESPN's Not Top 10 is, it is the countdown of the top 10 bloopers in the week of sports on Friday's SportCenter. Sonnen should be on that list.
MISTAKES PROVE COSTLY AGAINST SILVA
Last time they fought the challenger Chael Sonnen put the beatdown of a lifetime on UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva for four-and-a-half rounds until making a mistake and getting caught in a triangle choke with moments left in the match. This time Sonnen totally dominated the first round with a takedown and some ground and pound. In the second round, Sonnen got cocky and threw an ill-advised spinning back elbow at Silva. He missed his target and slipped to the ground, where Silva immediately capitalized on the mistake and ended the fight. The window of opportunity for defeating Silva is slim, and that window shuts fast!
SILVA AN EXCEPTION TO BLATANT ASSAULT?
As I write this, I am waiting for UFC 148 to begin. As I watched the weigh-ins Friday, it was evident to myself, as well as Dana White and other UFC officials, that Anderson Silva delivered an intentional blow to Chael Sonnen's face using his shoulder. Let's rewind for a second. Paul Daley delivered a similar intentional blow to Josh Koscheck during their UFC fight and was subsequently released and banned from the UFC. That happened almost directly after the event was over. And now we have not even the slightest acknowledgement from the UFC as to Silva's unsportsmanlike behavior? It's one thing to talk trash; it's another thing to assault someone outside of competition. Silva crossed the line, and the UFC is using it as a promotional bit. Had it had been anyone else, he would already have been cut/fined. Favortism at its finest. Regardless of the UFC 148 outcome, Silva deserves disciplinary action.
Randal M. Nelson
SILVA ROBBED SONNEN OF A THIRD ROUND
Anderson Silva robbed Chael Sonnen of a third round at UFC 148 when he held onto his shorts for the better part of 30 seconds. With half his base and core strength immobilized, Sonnen couldn't muster the momentum to sweep Silva off the fence and onto the ground. Better yet, Silva kept his grip on the shorts once they got off the cage and saved his midsection from potential knees. Based off the first round and no real change of strategy on Silva's part (all that was different was that they clinched against the cage instead of in the center octagon), it's not a far stretch to believe that Sonnen could have kept on in his familiar fashion. Silva won – as an instinctual fighter, not the majestic pugilist he's painted to be. Just like Fedor Emelianenko when he grabbed the fence against Matt Lindland's wrestling slam. Just like any other fighter.
SILVA PROVES BEATABLE
Saturday night was the night when Anderson Silva proved once more that he is the 185-pound division's king, but he also showed a road for new contenders to beat him. Silva is a great striker and Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist, but his wrestling is very suspect. Dan Henderson proved it once, and now Chael Sonnen has too. Silva stated that he was 100 percent healthy and that Sonnen was not going to be able to take him down. However, within seconds, Sonnen took him down with ease. Future contenders who have a pedigree is wrestling should take notice. They are the real winners since they now know that American wrestling is the key to dethrone the "The Spider."
San Antonio, Texas
NOW'S THE TIME FOR SILVA-JONES IN COWBOYS STADIUM
At UFC 148, Anderson Silva showed that he is the No. 1 middleweight fighter in the world by proving that his first victory over Chael Sonnen was no fluke and garnering his second victory over him by an unquestionable TKO stoppage. With Silva's now 10th successful title defense, there is no question that he is the undisputed No. 1 middleweight in the world. There is still time for a mega-fight to happen against Jon Jones at light heavyweight for the UFC title. UFC president Dana White has hinted at a show coming to Cowboys Stadium. If the UFC were to book such a venue, we can all be rest assured there will be huge fights on that card. Not only would this give us fans a fight we so desperately crave, but it will be give Silva a chance that he is the best fighter of all-time.
Coral Springs, Fla.
FUNDAMENTAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS WITH SONNEN'S TRT USE
Either through short-sightedness or the deliberate demonization of an individual, it would seem that the media still doesn't have its facts straight when it comes to testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT). In a UFC press conference, a question was asked to Chael Sonnen as to whether or not he thought it was "fair" that he was the recipient of TRT. Sonnen's response to this idiotic question made reference to him, out of necessity, having to take the medication. Given that the goal of TRT is to "normalize" an individual's testosterone levels, Sonnen is actually leveling the playing field. Since the governing athletic commission recognizes TRT as acceptable, then it would seem to me that every athlete competing at this level, must, from a pragmatic standpoint, get his "levels" checked. If one athlete steps into the octagon with lower testosterone levels, then that individual simply didn't do his homework.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
UFC LIMELIGHT TOO MUCH FOR FORREST GRIFFIN
Forrest Griffin will always be remembered for his battles with Stephan Bonnar, Tito Ortiz and claiming the light-heavyweight belt from "Rampage" Jackson. However, his recent behavior exemplifies a person who is unstable and detrimental to himself. His behavior following his UFC 148 fight was downright disrespectful not only to Ortiz but also MMA fans as not only did he once again flee the octagon, but he also returned to humiliate Ortiz with his distasteful interview. Dana White stated that Griffin said he was depressed with his performance, but with Griffin's recent actions with his rape comments and his post-fight antics, perhaps we are seeing the pressure of the UFC mainstream limelight being too much for one of the UFC's poster boys.
Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
GRIFFIN NEEDS AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT
Forrest Griffin's post-fight actions Saturday night at UFC 148 were nothing short of despicable. Griffin has no reason to continuously disrespect the fans, his opponent or the sport itself. I've got nothing but respect for what Griffin has done to the sport, but the way he goes about everything outside of the cage nowadays is an incredible disappointment. On top of running from the cage, which itself is disrespectful to his opponent, he went and stole the spotlight from one of the most important figures in this sport on the night of his retirement. Tito Ortiz deserved his time post-fight, and for Griffin to take that away and say "he gassed in the third" isn't the type of thing you should say about somebody who has done so much for the sport. Whether his heart is in the sport anymore or not, he needs to reassess how he's handling his career.
GRIFFIN'S ACTIONS WERE DISGRACEFUL
The way that Forrest Griffin behaved after his UFC 148 fight with newly minted UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz was a disgrace, and he should be embarrassed. It was Ortiz's last fight in the octagon, and Griffin tried to make it all about him. As soon as the final bell rang, Griffin proceeded to stomp out of the cage and make his way toward the locker rooms even before the final decision was even announced. Dana White was literally running after him to bring him back to the cage for the decision. This is no way for a professional fighter to act. He then grabbed the mic and conducted the post-fight interview. I am sure Joe Rogan was peeved as well. This being Ortiz's final fight, Rogan probably had certain questions and statements prepared for such a historic event. I lost a lot of respect for Griffin on Saturday night.
Randy "RANBX" Neidich
Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
AS WITH UFC, UNITED WE STAND, OR DIVIDED WE FALL
UFC 148 was marked with the frequent back-and-forth debates that are accustomed to sports entertainment as a whole. It seems to me, however, that the sport of MMA has found itself at a crossroads as of late. Fans are no longer debating with one another, but simply attacking viewpoints of others and rarely waiting for intellectual responses. Gone are the days when one fan can say to another fan "I dislike that fighters style" and a real debate begins. These days that simple statement would result in quick profane outbursts, which do nothing but separate us from bringing the sport to the next step of success. I have yet to see actual discussions on the main event as of 2 a.m. ET. Just vulgar name-calling and zero real debate. It was an amazing event and sport, which we as "hardcore" fans are destroying!