Chael Sonnen Won’t Appeal UFC 148 Loss to Silva, Says MMA Doesn’t Need Instant Replay


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Chael Sonnen announced Tuesday that he will not appeal his UFC 148 loss to middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

The two-time title challenger revealed his decision after the UFC on Fuel TV 4 weigh-ins this afternoon on the Fox-owned cable station. Sonnen fell to Silva last Saturday in their highly anticipated rematch at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, succumbing to strikes in the second round.

The announcement contrasts a Monday report in which Sonnen’s coach, Scott McQuarry, was quoted as saying he hoped to secure a rematch by appealing to the Nevada Athletic Commission. McQuarry cited two minor infractions committed by Silva, the first of which occurred before the bout began when the middleweight ace touched his face -- the lone portion of a fighter’s body allowed to be coated in Vaseline -- and then rubbed his arms and torso. Referee Yves Lavigne noticed the action and toweled “The Spider” off before the start of the contest.

McQuarry also noted that the champion held Sonnen’s shorts during an exchange prior to the finish in round two, but his main point of contention was a knee landed by the champion after Sonnen lost his balance when attempting a spinning back-elbow.

While the knee appeared to be an illegal blow to Sonnen’s head at first glance, Lavigne deemed it legal and was later validated by the post-fight replay, which showed the point of Silva’s knee connecting with Sonnen’s sternum, though the champion’s thigh appeared to make contact with the challenger’s face. Regardless, Sonnen says that Lavigne’s call should stand.

“The knee really hurt. All the shots really hurt. Here’s the reality: we don’t do instant replay in this sport, and we shouldn’t. It comes down to a judgment call, and wherever the referee says the knee landed officially, that is where the knee landed. That is an excellent official, as they all are. He made his call, and I will never complain and look back,” Sonnen explained. “The referee’s judgment is what stands. I trust in that, and it works both ways. The referee makes the decision... and we live with it. We would never go and appeal. It’s real easy to win... [but] part of competing is [knowing] how to lose. You have to man up, swallow it and walk out.”

It is currently unclear what the future holds for Sonnen, though retirement rumors have circulated since his second defeat to Silva. According to Sonnen, however, he will take his time before deciding the next step in his professional career.

“I don’t think any athlete should even begin to talk [about retirement] or even think like that until you let 30 days go by. In anything in life, you don’t want to make decision based on emotion. You have very big highs and very big lows in this sport. You don’t want to make any drastic decisions,” said the Team Quest fighter. “I think it’s an insult to the fans when guys just say ‘I retired,’ when they really mean, ‘I will see everybody in 18 months, because I am coming back.’ When I get to that point in my career, I will make the statement and I’ll never look back.”

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