If you are planning to read Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason in hopes to get a laugh at senseless literature, you will be disappointed because the book offers a lot more.
As the reader opens the book they will immediately be greeted with a foreword from none other than Jesus Christ, followed by a list of items you will need in order to read the book properly. It is a hilarious beginning, as Sonnen (Twitter: @sonnench) then takes the reader on a telling of his experiences leading up to previous bouts he has competed in or had some part in. These duties included cornerman, baggage handler, stacker of chairs, and exploited, well-intentioned doofus.
Then the book backtracks to Sonnen’s younger days in West Linn, Ore. The author recounted his wrestling experiences, which included grappling with the notorious Crips and Bloods street gangs, attending a multitude of funerals and the impact coach Roy Pittman had on Sonnen’s life.
Numerous chapters throughout the book show a humble side of Sonnen. He talks about his political career going up in smoke after being convicted of money laundering. The infraction resulted in Sonnen losing his real estate license and having his right to vote revoked. Sonnen also talked about his late father and the relationship the two of them had. It was a glimpse of Sonnen’s personality that not many have had the opportunity to see.
Sonnen delves into politics and world history. It was definitely the least intriguing section of the book for me, but the humorous remarks about history’s world leaders encouraged me to keep reading. He also had words for terrorists and the environmentalists out there he refers to as “eco-frekos.”
Sonnen offered a few pages to explain his detest for people using social media platforms as a stage to inform the world of their unimportant statuses. He suggests Twitter should be called “Blather,” and provides various chapters that describe Sonnen’s loathe for pop culture, as well as the people fooled by it.
The book would not be complete without Sonnen contributing advice for fellow mixed martial artists. He warns the up-and-comers to not get into MMA for fortune, fame and women, because it will lead to failure. The UFC No. 1 middleweight contender gives some insight on which walkout songs are acceptable and not acceptable (Aerosmith and Metallica top the list, can’t disagree with that). And of course, Sonnen fired off more than a few sentences at teammates not wanting to fight each other.
It should be well-expected that Anderson Silva would get his own chapter. Sonnen, surprisingly, did not tear into Silva as one might have presumed. He detailed the night of Aug. 7, 2010, when he lost to Silva via submission, following 23 minutes of Sonnen dominating the champ. Sonnen also described the suspension he received from the California State Athletic Commission for accelerated levels of testosterone. It was really quite interesting to read what Sonnen’s mindset was before, during and after that particular contest.
In closing, Sonnen described his emotions and psyche as he enters the Octagon. After crediting Bert Fields on a job well-done, Sonnen admitted the fear and self-doubt he experiences while waiting for the fight to begin. He explained the thoughts running through his mind as his opponent walks down the same ramp he did moments ago. Sonnen was very intricate with his description, but also made comical notes about having troubles taking off his walkout shirt, as so many fighters do.
The Voice of Reason provides the reader with the typical humor MMA fans are used to from the author, however, it also offers little-known facts about Sonnen. There may not be a whole lot of reasoning behind Sonnen’s antics, but it was enlightening to read about his life and experiences.