Chael Sonnen hasn’t given Anderson Silva too many compliments.

When the Brazilian was knocked out by Chris Weidman, though, Sonnen was impressed by the way he handled his first UFC defeat.

“If you lose a title, you need to pass the torch,” Sonnen told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show. “Chris Weidman only gets three minutes on that microphone. He gets three minutes in that ring, and Anderson, as hard as it was, got out of his way. As hard as it was, he said, ‘That’s the champion. I’m no longer champion,’ and he left it at that. He didn’t come in with any crap about, ‘Oh, he was better tonight,’ or ‘I was hurt,’ or ‘I was sick.’ He was a real man about it, and you can take all that back 10 minutes later at the press conference. You can take it all back the next morning when you think about it, but at that time, you have to give that guy his moment. He worked his whole life for those three minutes to stand there and get that cheer. I was surprised, but I was very impressed that Anderson followed that code.”

Silva and Weidman meet again Dec. 28 at UFC 168 in Las Vegas. Sonnen has said he plans to apply to referee the bout, but he told “Rewind” that he doesn’t expect to be in the Octagon for the middleweight title fight.

“I don’t think they’re going to put me in, but it’s an application,” Sonnen said. “It’s 25 bucks. I’ve done a lot of officiating.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 45:33).

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