Chael Sonnen fought his last fight at Bellator 222 last Friday and while all the analysts and recaps will tell their own version of what happened; only two people can do it accurately and honestly. The winner will get interviewed and rarely does the loser of a fight get to say much, and when they do “breaks silence” is usually attached to the headline. Well, Machida has already talked about how he won in his post-fight interviews, and now Sonnen has provided his own breakdown of how he lost his final match on his Youtube channel.
Sonnen had mentioned back in April he was out to get a win back over Machida because he had beaten his mentors Dan Henderson and Randy Couture. Time can be a disadvantage or an advantage depending on where you sit in it and Sonnen believed fighting Machida now, was an advantage because of the amount of footage available on Machida. As much as karate gets bashed in MMA, those that mix it in well get the aura of being elusive with their footwork, distance, and timing.
In his own breakdown, Sonnen says, “I really respect the way that he can control distance with any opponent,” and believed his access to footage for study was something he had that the “Others that fell”, before him didn’t. He talked about how when Machida came on the scene, ”We had never seen Machida we’ve never seen this skill set we’ve never seen a guy doing these kinds of kicks doing these kinds of straight-on attacks.”
After the fight one could argue Machida had the same advantage but it was not anything Sonnen did not prepare for. Sonnen had a plan and said, “I have a few ideas I can close the distance, I can get a hold of this guy,” and he was able to do that in round one where fans saw him dump Machida and nearly took back control. Sonnen did everything he planned to do, but Machida seemed to expect that from Sonnen and was able to break free and land the knee that would hurt Sonnen enough to lead to the second round TKO.
Even though he lost, the perspective from the losing end is rarely given and Sonnen letting fans into his side of the night at Madison Square Garden for his last fight is worth a watch.
Do you think his plan was sound going into the fight?