Jeff Chiu / AP
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 | 8 p.m.
Dana White fireside chat part 1
Dana White fireside chat part 2
Dana White fireside chat part 3
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- UFC on FOX 2 breakdown, betting odds and picks
- UFC on FOX 2: A rundown of the promotion’s next network television card
- Michael Bisping disliked and dominant at ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 14 finale
- Michael Bisping again in starring role as ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ draws to a close
- Chael Sonnen show returns with Las Vegas as likely next stop
- Despite loss, Chael Sonnen backed up the talk at UFC 117
- UFC coverage
- All MMA/boxing coverage
CHICAGO — Like a freestyle rapper, Chael Sonnen spent Thursday afternoon entertaining a large group of people by spitting out improvised rhymes.
The middleweight fighter had all but one person at the W Hotel for the UFC on FOX 2 press conference laughing hysterically as he belted out odes to his own bravado in front of a fake UFC championship belt.
The outlier was his Saturday opponent, Michael Bisping, who found the whole scene more sickening than humorous.
“He’s the Muhammad Ali,” Bisping mocked Sonnen. “He’s the champ. He’s everything, of course, and I’m just a guy from England fighting him. What chance do I have?”
Not a very good one in the minds of oddsmakers and fans. Sports books list Bisping as high as a 4-to-1 underdog.
A media member at the press conference prefaced a question by saying it was an “accurate assumption” that Sonnen would beat Bisping.
“Can we have a question from a real journalist?” an irritated Bisping chirped.
Bisping understandably doesn’t appreciate those who consider him a walkover in Sonnen’s path to a rematch with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Ever since Silva pulled off a fifth-round submission a year-and-a-half ago to escape a surefire loss to Sonnen, fans have clamored for a second bout between the two. But circumstances, Sonnen’s year-long suspension for high testosterone levels and a recent shoulder injury to Silva, have prevented it from happening.
Sonnen now claims he couldn’t care less if a rematch ever takes place. In his mind, he defeated Silva that night.
“I took his belt like a gangster in the night,” Sonnen said. “I walked in and took it like a welcher on a football bet. If he wants his belt back, he can come get it. But, as far as I’m concerned, he’s as relevant as Mike Tyson. The only thing he hasn’t done is announce his retirement. He should paint his face, gain 100 pounds, sit in the third row and hope that somebody remembers who they are because neither of those guys matter anymore.”
In Sonnen’s mind, or at least in his twisted version of reality, the replica championship belt is real.
He’s brought the strap everywhere this week in the Windy City. Sonnen said he would also walk to the octagon with it wrapped around his waist Saturday.
“I slept with this thing last night,” Sonnen said. “You’re looking at the reflection of perfection, the one who gets all the attention. You’re looking at the man with the biggest arms, the man with the greatest charm and the man in Chicago who’s going to do a lot of harm.”
Bisping leaned over to get a peek at the belt and came to his own conclusion.
“I think you can find one on eBay for about $29.99,” he said.
Bisping believes he’s the true top contender in the 185-pound division. The Manchester, England native has won four straight, including a TKO victory over Jason “Mayhem” Miller last month, and five out of his last six.
Sonnen has only one victory, a submission of Brian Stann at UFC 136, since the Silva loss.
“Maybe I could ask a question, maybe I could ask three of Michael Bisping,” Sonnen said at the press conference. “First, what you gonna do with you-know-who? How you gonna deal with the man of steel? And how will you react to Sonnen’s attack?”
Bisping made no attempt to answer. He’s distancing himself from playing any of Sonnen’s games.
“I’m going to make the oddsmakers look like fools,” Bisping said. “I am winning this fight.”