Psychologist says Silva maybe 'trapping' Sonnen
MANILA, Philippines – A sports psychologist said the uncharacteristic outburst made by middleweight champion Anderson Silva last week could be part of a scheme to draw his challenger, Chael Sonnen, out of his game.
Silva, who is scheduled to defend his title against Sonnen this weekend, threatened to break Sonnen’s limbs when they face off in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 148.
Sports media found it unusual for Silva to launch such a tirade as the Brazilian striker is known for his cool demeanor.
“It does seem out of character for [Silva] to do that, which makes me think he might be trying to get a reaction. Fighters can say anything, but it sounds like he's trying to get a response. Maybe it's strategy and he's trying to get [Sonnen] to react,” said John F. Murray, a sports psychologist from Florida, said in Yahoo! Sports.
Murray added that the outburst maybe a calculated move from Silva.
"I would suspect it's all strategic. Maybe he's recognized something in [Sonnen] from the past that he's trying to use to his advantage," the psychologist said.
This will be the second time Silva and Sonnen will be facing in the Octagon.
Silva nearly lost to Sonnen in 2010’s UFC 117. But the defending champion miraculously pulled off a triangle armbar in the fifth Round, forcing Sonnen to submit.
The UFC fight card will be aired locally on Sunday on BALLS Channel starting 10:30 a.m.