Originally Posted by OU
It's not blind hate at all. He also didn't beat "All MW not Anderson Silva". He barely scrapped by Bisping in a very controversial decision. He did have some nice MW wins, I'll give you that. Beating Okami, Marquardt(at that time), and Stann are some quality wins. But he also got rolled up by Maia and sub'd in the 1st round. Not to mention there are plenty of quality MW that would give Chael hell in a fight that he never fought. Chris Weidman is a much better fighter IMO then Chael. I think Vitor would handle Chael as well. I think Rockhold has a chance. I'm nearly certain that Jacare would submit him if they fought. I think Chael is probably the 4 or 5th best MW in the World.
But when it comes to LHW? I think he is much, much further down the list. He was far from dominate at MW.
Look back at his best wins and most of the guys have gone on to lose since then. His glaring loss came to a guy now at WW, his razor thin win that got him the title fight came against a guy that has never beat a top ranked fighter and just got beat his last fight. I don't understand why he gets so much credit, I really don't.
Eh, you have to consider context. Sonnen came in and tore through the MW division as it then was. Okami and Marquardt were considered top dogs back then, and so it doesn't really matter where they are now. Okami was a perennial top five and Nate was one win away from a title shot. Context is everything. I don't come in here and belittle Chuck Liddell or Rich Franklin's title reigns because they came at a time when the divisions were about as stacked as Olive Oil. Chael beat every top MW not named Anderson Silva at the time - who fights in the division currently is irrelevant, as Sonnen is no longer a MW.
With respect to who beats who, it's all speculative and subjective. I think Sonnen hands Vitor his own arse without much issue, and I'm not at all sold on Rockhold. Chael would likely wrestle-maul both. Jacare could prove interesting with his submissions. And I reserve judgment on Weidman... being that he and Sonnen are unlikely to ever fight, I'll only be able to compare their respective performances against Anderson.
As for being subbed by Maia, we're also talking about the Demian Maia who had everyone at MW terrified before Anderson stole his soul. Maia's currently back in that frame of mind, and he seems to have remembered what a grappling phenomenon he is. And he's tearing through everyone. I don't see a loss to Maia as shameful, which is how you make it sound. Should Jon Fitch be ashamed? Should Stun Gun be ashamed? It isn't as though Chael was submitted by Ed Herman. You can suffer a few losses to top guys and still be a good fighter yourself.
And he wasn't dominant at MW (albeit just not as much as Silva). He made Marquardt and Okami mentally quit underneath him. He made Brian Stann look like a rookie. He did have some trouble with Mike, but let's be real about this - the only round in that entire fight that could be declared a clear round for either man went to Sonnen in the third, in which he took Bisping down and kicked his arse the entire time. That Bisping hasn't earned himself a 'top victory' but managed to give Sonnen some problems shouldn't be a knock against Sonnen. Perhaps the stars aligned and Mike had a fantastic night. Perhaps Chael was off and had a bad night. These fighters are employees like you and I... we have our good days and our bad days, and so too can they.
As for LHW, chances are there are a few who could beat the snot out of Sonnen - I'm thinking of guys like Glover in particular. But I also think Chael would have little trouble outwrestling the likes of Rampage, Shogun, Wand, Vitor, Henderson, and even Mousasi and Machida. We're not talking about a scrub, and as I said, losing to Anderson Silva doesn't negate the skills and traits he does possess. I find it hilarious that so many people dismiss Silva's past opponents as overrated - I guess Anderson must not be the GOAT, because apparently he's only been fighting overly hyped bums.
Sonnen gets credit because he's earned it. He'd not be in this position through smack talk alone. Matt Riddle talks smack, and look at where he is. James Tony talked smack, and he was one-and-done. Talk only gets you so far.