Back in the 19th century, if a man had ill will towards another he would voice his displeasure and eventually the two would duel.
Dueling was not only a way to solve a disagreement, but a way to show how tough or brave a man was. After all, one didn't challenge or accept a duel if their trigger finger was timid.
Cut back to present day and the world of mixed martial arts fighting and we find ourselves with a similar situation.
Chael Sonnen (26-10-1) was given an opportunity to take on the sport's premier fighter, Anderson Silva, largely because there really was no one else left Silva hadn't already dominated.
Sonnen really happens to be just another of a long line of challengers that believes they are the one to dethrone the champion. The problem is none of the others and especially Sonnen, truly grasp how long of a line it is.
Silva (26-4) has won all 11 of his UFC fights and defended his middleweight title a record seven consecutive times. The names of those he's conquered? Try Franklin, Marquardt, Lutter, Leben, Griffin, Leites, Maia, Cote, Irvin and Henderson.
Yet, here is the new challenger voicing his displeasure and hatred for the champion at every turn like a drunken cowboy in a saloon. What Sonnen doesn't understand is something that all of those dead duelers of the past came to realize -- you're a lousy shot when you're drunk.
When the two middleweights meet on August 7th in Oakland, CA at UFC 117, the champion isn't going to be merciful to a person who has done everything from challenging Silva's greatness and demeaning him as a person. When Silva last fought, his challenger Maia, a jiu-jitsu world champion, said in an interview that he "was going to take one of the spider's eight legs home with him" in reference to Silva's nickname, "the spider".
That fight, at UFC 112, turned out to be humiliation and domination at one of it's highest levels. Silva didn't just beat up Maia, he toyed with him as he felt he was disgraced by the challenger. At the end of the five rounds, the majority of which Silva just avoided the flailing challenger, Maia's face looked as if it had been through a meat grinder while the champion had barely broken a sweat.
This time Silva's antics will be more controlled. His show-boating and dancing will no longer be tolerated by the UFC or president Dana White. All the worse for Sonnen.
Sonnen, 33, opened his mouth back in January and hasn't shut it since. He's done far worse than say he wanted to take one of Silva's legs home with him.
What he's about to find out is he's brought a knife to a gun fight.