MANILA, Philippines –Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contender Chael Sonnen believes his former rival, middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva, should be declared the greatest of all time if he conquers his next challenger.
Silva will defend his title against top challenger Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 162 on July 6, and Sonnen warned that the bout will not be a cakewalk for the Brazilian.
“Weidman is absolutely Silva’s toughest opponent,” Sonnen said, as quoted by MMA Mania. “He was an underdog against Mark Muñoz. He stepped into those lights, and he performed extremely well.”
“He has a better top game, at least submission-wise, than I do and I had some success with Anderson from that position. Weidman’s going to get on top,” he added.
Sonnen came close to beating Silva when they fought in 2010, as he beat up “The Spider” for four rounds before succumbing to a triangle choke late in the fifth round.
Sonnen, who also lost to Silva in their 2012 rematch, said that if the Brazilian is successful against Weidman, then he should be declared the greatest fighter of all time.
“I can’t wait for this fight,” said Sonnen. “Let’s understand. If Anderson Silva wins this fight, the debate ends. He is the best fighter of all time.”
The 38-year-old Silva is considered as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world and has not lost since 2006. He has defended his UFC middleweight belt a record 10 times and has won a record 16 straight fights in the UFC.