MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar Georges St. Pierre believes UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva made a big mistake by letting challenger Chael Sonnen “get into his head.”
“(Sonnen) wants to get into Anderson Silva’s head, and he did it,” St. Pierre told Sports Net.
Sonnen will challenge Silva for the middleweight title at UFC 148 this Saturday in Las Vegas, a rematch of their five-round, instant classic encounter at UFC 117.
Silva won that bout by submitting Sonnen via triangle with less than two minutes left in the fifth round. The champion was in danger of losing his belt as for the first four rounds, he was dominated by Sonnen.
Since then, Sonnen has repeatedly antagonized Silva, insulting the Brazilian’s friends, family and homeland. Last week, Silva seemingly snapped: In a media conference call, he promised to break Sonnen's limbs.
“Chael Sonnen’s going to get his a** kicked like he’s never gotten his a** kicked before. What I’m going to do inside the Octagon is something that’s going to change the image of the sport,” Silva said.
St. Pierre, who held the UFC’s welterweight title for a long time before getting injured, said Sonnen had succesfully gotten into Silva’s head and affected the Brazilian legend’s emotions.
“That’s what he (Sonnen) wants, because when you fight with emotion, you don’t fight smart,” St. Pierre explained.
“Silva, he’s going to go crazy but he can make a mistake if you do that. It’s a big mistake,” he added.
St. Pierre noted that Silva became a champion because he fights in a smart, calculated way, instead of going “crazy.”
“The reason he’s a champion is because he fights smart, he’s skilled. More skilled than the other guys. He brings the fight to where he is best. He doesn’t go crazy,” St. Pierre said.
“That is what Sonnen wants from him,” he added.
Sonnen, however, just shrugged off Silva’s threats.
“I think it was more like he was saying, ‘I’m going to give you a knuckle sandwich.’ I’m kind of sitting there, going, well, duh, we’re in a cage fight, dummy,” Sonnen said.