Crime Pays: The Inexplicable Longevity of ‘The American Gangster’

Chael Sonnen marched into the Octagon as a five-to-one underdog opposite Nate Marquardt on Feb. 6, 2010 in a bout to determine who would challenge Anderson Silva next for his middleweight crown. For 15 minutes, Sonnen gloriously defied the oddsmakers, scoring relentless takedowns, doggedly defending Marquardt’s varied submission attempts and landing thunderous punches and elbows to the body and head of the former title contender. When the fight was over, both men stood covered in blood, as Sonnen was declared the decisive victor across all three of the judges’ scorecards.

Moments later, a self-effacing Sonnen spoke into the microphone: “I’m here to be the king of the mountain, or I’ll move on in life and do something else. I think I can beat any man God ever made.”

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