If Chael Sonnen's pro wrestling influence wasn't already blatantly apparent, he's now taken to straight up ripping lines from Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock while posing like Hulk Hogan. He's also using the tried and true method of menacingly looking directly into the camera while the interviewer asks him questions, which is done so the viewer always keeps his eyes on the subject.
He stumbles through his lines a bit and reverts back to his natural self when he realizes he doesn't have a witty answer to each one of the questions, but he still managed to do a remarkable job of selling himself better than any fighter in the history of the UFC.
This wasn't as good as the promo he cut immediately following his win over Brian Stann last night (Oct. 8) at UFC 136. Here's what he told Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview:
"Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck! Super Bowl weekend will be the biggest rematch in the history of this business. I'm calling you out, but we're upping the stakes: I beat you, you leave the division. You beat me, I will leave the UFC ... forever."
What made this even better was he was saying this directly to Silva, who was sitting cageside taking in the event. And while Anderson gave his usual blowoff gestures, he didn't exactly look pleased that Sonnen was punking him out on pay-per-view while the live crowd was eating it up the whole way.
UFC President Dana White quickly made it clear that he would be "stupid" not to make the fight now that there's even more heat between the two. He also quickly went into promoter mode speaking of how much Silva hates Sonnen and wants to silence him once again.
Just too easy to sell.
There are hurdles, though, if UFC really wants to put this fight on during Super Bowl weekend, namely the fact that that event will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. That means Sonnen will have to clear things up with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), which he has yet to do.
CagesideSeats.com's own Keith Harris contacted Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the NSAC, to ask what Sonnen's status is in the state and how things will work going forward. Here was his response:
Any applicant may apply for a 2012 license as of December 1, 2011.
I cannot comment beyond that, but I am always hopeful that any applicant can meet his or her burden to obtain a license.
White has already started laying the groundwork for his pitch on why Sonnen should be licensed in Nevada when the time comes. His argument is that Floyd Mayweather, who's been in trouble with the law multiple times for various issues, including domestic abuse, was licensed and allowed to fight Victor Ortiz just this past Sept. 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Surely Sonnen, who has done far less than that, will be licensed, too, right?
We shall see. It's entirely possible UFC will avoid all these issues by scheduling the fight in a different state but holding it on Super Bowl weekend will exponentially increase its value, which is already unbelievably high.