We Don’t Need a Sequel
Anderson Silva’s final round triumph over Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 was outstanding. The entire fight was. The pre-fight hype was epic, Sonnen backed up 99% of his promises and everyone went home happy when the dust had finally settled.
Doing it again would be a mistake.
More and more, the formula from fans and media members is becoming “that was awesome, let’s do it again,” and frankly, I don’t understand it. The UFC 117 main event was a perfect storm; a one-time occurrence that would be impossible to top and any attempt to replicate the awesomeness that was that encounter would most likely fall flat.
Ace Ventura was awesome; Ace Ventura 2, not so much
When Jim Carrey entered our world as Ace Ventura for the first time, we all reveled in the excellence of the former In Living Color funnyman’s antics. It was unexpected and caught everyone by surprise. A sequel was a given since it made a boatload of money, but it was also a mistake.
The second installment – When Nature Calls – was awful. What was originally ingenious and entertaining became cliché, an overblown cartoon trying desperately to take your money based on your enjoyment of the first film.
Silva – Sonnen 2 would likely follow the same pattern, and no one needs that.
You cannot manufacture the kind of pre-fight hype Sonnen delivered heading into this bout. While the Republican from West Linn, Oregon is never going to be at a loss for words or a shortage of soundbites, his routine was becoming quite tiresome – at least to me – by the time fight week actually rolled around.
Part of the beauty and excellence of the UFC 117 main event was that the unexpected happened; Sonnen came in and put Silva on his back, just as he said, dominating one of the most dominant champions in UFC history for four rounds. Staring at the screen, you were potentially watching history happen right before your eyes.
No matter what happens in a potential second fight, we’ve already seen it. The same action that made the first fight legendary would be old hat to an audience that was captivated the first time around. Jim Carrey talking out of his ass wasn’t as funny in the second film, and even a second installment of Sonnen dumping Silva on his back and beating on him has lost the element of surprise if a second fight were to take place.
We already know the punch line which makes telling the joke seem kind of pointless, right?
Is There Really a Need?
When Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua were scheduled for an immediate rematch, everyone agreed; Rua was the victim of some bad judging in the eyes of many and removing the controversy from the light heavyweight championship was an absolute must.
Frankie Edgar upset B.J. Penn at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, outpointing the defending champion and taking his title home with him. After an eight-year unbeaten run in the division and serving as lightweight champion for two-and-a-half years, “The Prodigy” was deserving of a chance to reclaim the gold, and the two will meet again on August 28th at UFC 118 in Boston.
Neither of those scenarios applies to the finish of the UFC 117 main event, and as much as it was a tremendous fight that captured everyone’s attention, there is no real reason to do it again.
There was no controversy and the champion retained possession of his twelve pounds of leather and gold. Sonnen came incredibly close to earning an ESPY nomination for Upset of the Year, but the end result was the one everyone expected in the first place. While the journey to a Silva victory was far different from the route many anticipated taking, “The Spider” is still the UFC middleweight champion, and I don’t think that would change a second time around.
Chael Sonnen fought a near-perfect fight and still lost, his one mistake offering enough of an opening for Anderson Silva to snatch victory from the jaws of certain defeat and retain his middleweight title.
An injured Silva still stood victorious at the end of the night, and a perfectly healthy one would do the same a second time around.
This fight was a classic, a mixed martial arts Gone with the Wind.
No one needed Gone with the Wind 2: Rhett’s Return, and we don’t need Silva vs. Sonnen 2.