Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen are polar opposites.

Silva made his career inside the Octagon, while Sonnen made his career outside of it. Silva holds the greatest highlight reel in UFC history, while Sonnen’s highlight reel is full of ground-and-pound and dominant positions.

Silva specializes in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, while Sonnen’s bread and butter is wrestling. But perhaps, their biggest contrast comes in the way they promote themselves and promote fights.

UFC 148 is hyped to be one of the biggest events in UFC history simply because the main event qualifies as the greatest grudge match in history. Most of it can be attributed to Sonnen’s domination and Silva’s fifth-round miracle in the first fight, but really, it’s all about the trash talk, baby.

See, this is where Sonnen shines. Sonnen has made a career out of saying outlandish phrases to the media, and he took his trash talk to another level leading up to the rematch with Silva. He trashed Brazil and even said Silva’s wife better make him a steak medium rare, just the way he likes it.

But Sonnen is doing this to hype the fight. It’s basically hot air to sell tickets and draw mainstream attention. But what he’s done in the process is anger the greatest fighter in UFC history.

Silva, unlike Sonnen, never talks before the fight and has always maintained a calm demeanor heading into his bouts. Well, every fight except this one.

In a conference call with the media, Silva went on a tirade, hurling one insult after another toward Sonnen. He even said he would break Sonnen’s arms and legs, and knock his teeth out.

But once again, unlike Sonnen, Silva means what he’s saying. Sonnen is using his trash talk to hype the fight, while Silva is using his new trash talk to let Sonnen know he’s in a world of trouble.

And just in case you’re thinking that Silva’s finally caught on and started to hype his fight, think again. First of all, Silva has always done it his way when it comes to mixed martial arts, and second of all, did you catch the press conference this week?

Silva had to be restrained by UFC President Dana White’s body guards in order to keep him from putting his hands on Sonnen.  The weigh-ins featured a similar scene where Silva connected with a shoulder to Sonnen’s face.

This isn’t a game. This isn’t about drawing in the masses and generating pay-per-view numbers. Oh no, this is about sending a message. This is about setting an example for any other fighter that even thinks about insulting Silva’s country or family.

So when it comes to the hype surrounding Silva vs. Sonnen II, believe half of it. Sonnen is simply portraying the antagonist, but Silva is cementing his legacy as the baddest man on the planet.

Photo: Anderson Silva (L) works out before UFC 148 (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Jake Martin

Jake attends Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., where he studies Mass Communication in print and public relations. He is also the sports editor of his school newspaper, The Nicholls Worth. Jake works at the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday, La. during the summer.