Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen Announced for UFC Hall of Fame Fight Wing

Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen, World MMA Awards Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

The Bad Guy is going into the UFC Hall of Fame. Alongside longtime rival Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen will head to the Hall as part of the class of 2024.

Promotion officials announced during the UFC 300 broadcast that Silva vs. Sonnen I would be inducted into the Hall of Fame’s Fight Wing. That meeting took place at UFC 117 in 2010, and saw Sonnen, with his strong wrestling, dominate the hitherto bulletproof Silva for the better part of five rounds.

At least until “The Spider” threw up a Hail Mary triangle choke late in the fifth round to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

Sonnen was denied the middleweight title as a result, and would lose a rematch — not to mention a light heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones a little later. But it is the Silva fight that most fans see as a classic, despite the large asterisk that came after, when Sonnen failed his drug test while sporting an extremely high testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio.

“The American Gangster” was later suspended by the CSAC for the infraction, with the commission in particular expressing concern over a past conviction for money laundering, not to mention Sonnen’s claim that then-NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer had approved him for TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). Kizer later went on record to say no such approval had ever been made, and that he and Sonnen had never spoken about the matter.

“The first fight between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen was incredible,” said UFC President & CEO Dana White in a press release issued in conjunction with Saturday’s annoucnement. “This is the fight that made Anderson a star and showed the world that Chael could compete with anyone in the division. This incredible dogfight had everything you want in a five-round title fight, and it will be an honor to induct this fight into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer.”

The Hall of Fame induction will take place during 2024’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas.