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Sonnen steps in to take on Miller

Story by Andreas Hale

Chael Sonnen has been around the block a few times when it comes to this MMA thing. He’s had his fair share of impressive victories (a dominant victory against Bryan Baker in WEC) and devastating losses (most recently choked out by Demian Maia at UFC 95).

For Sonnen, fighting is what it is all about. Which is why when Yushin Okami had to pull out of UFC 98 with a torn ligament, Sonnen stepped right in to face the dangerous Dan Miller. It may be a major challenge to step in the Octagon with somebody like Miller, but it’s not the only challenge. As of Wednesday May 20th, Sonnen is still busy shredding pounds to make weight.

“It’s very difficult. I’m not done yet. It is all that’s on my mind. I haven’t even thought about the fight yet,” Sonnen says. Considering he’s a man up for any fight, the weight presents an issue that may be bigger than Miller. “I found out about this fight just a few weeks ago so I didn’t have any time to focus on him. I had to worry about getting myself under control. I was 36 pounds overweight when I found out about the fight 20 days ago.”

As if the hill wasn’t steep enough to climb, Sonnen is still trying to shake off the loss to Demian Maia back in February.

“That fight was a huge negative,” Sonnen reflects. “I was planning to break that video down and learn from my mistakes. But I wasn’t planning to fight this soon. I was planning to fight at the end of August – which is my next contracted fight date. I’m still a little bit down from that loss. It really hurt me.”

Either way, Sonnen decided that he simply couldn’t turn down the fight against Dan Miller. It’s an opportunity for redemption. Furthermore, Sonnen just can’t say no to a fight.

“I will take any fight on short notice,” he declares. “That’s the line of work that I’m in. I’m not a bully. I don’t fight guys when I know I’m going to win. I’ll fight anybody out there or I won’t fight anybody at all. The day I say no to a fight is the day I say no to this profession.”

The fight against Miller is one that Chael thinks he can win and he says he’s quite familiar with his opponent.

“I suppose I know a lot about him. I’ve seen his fights. I’m pretty familiar,” he says. “I’ve got some experience on him. I probably have some size on him. I think I’m just a better fighter than he is. I don’t know that for a fact but that’s why I’m out here.”

Call Sonnen whatever you want. But if you don’t admire his determination to win and do whatever he has to do to get to the top, then call yourself a liar.

“I only have one goal and that is to win the world championship. I’m going to do things necessary to get to that goal. If I ever realize that I’m not going to achieve it, I’ll go and do something else in life,” he says.

You won’t catch Sonnen going into great detail about the manner in which he’ll fight Miller. He just has one thing to say.

“I’m going to win this fight.”

Who can argue with that prediction?



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