21 of the biggest rivalries in MMA history [UPDATED]

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference / Steven Ryan/GettyImages
12 of 22

Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen

When your nickname is “The Bad Guy” you bet you are going to be on the list of all-time rivalries. Chael Sonnen is known mostly for his trash talking. The former middleweight title contender has had a beef with almost every fighter he has faced. When it comes to Sonnen, the lead up to the fights are almost as entertaining as the fights himself. When Sonnen was matched up with Anderson Silva for the first time the talking began right away.

Sonnen was campaigning for a fight with Silva right after he beat Nate Marquardt at UFC 109. At the time Silva had a fight lined up with Vitor Belfort and Sonnen said he would rather fight Silva over Belfort because it was the easier fight. He got his wish and the two were matched up at UFC 117. The entire fight it seemed that Sonnen had Silva’s number. He was leading in the scorecards heading into the fifth round until Silva caught Sonnen in a triangle and got the tap.

Following the win, Silva went on to defend his title two more times. Throughout his success, he could never escape the trash talk from Sonnen. When Sonnen defeated Brian Stann at UFC 136, he the opportunity to call out Silva in his post-fight interview.

“Anderson Silva you absolutely suck,” Sonnen said. “If I beat you, you leave the division, If you beat me, I will leave the UFC forever.”

These two were set to fight at UFC 148, and the lead up didn’t disappoint. There was a press conference before the fight and Sonnen shined in typical Sonnen fashion. He ripped Silva apart of the mic, while Silva stayed calm and unbaited.

The second fight went like the first as Silva won by TKO in round two. It appears that the animosity is over when the fight is over. Sonnen has since moved on to trashing other opponents and Silva is looking to return to the UFC in the near future. We will most likely never see these two fight each other again, but luckily the videos of the verbal sparring will leave forever.

Silva is now enjoying a post-MMA career ... boxing.