Rattling the Cage Book Review: Chael Sonnen “The Voice of Reason: A VIP Pass to Enlightenment”

Monday, October 15th, 2012 by Tony Reid

My review of this book is a tad later than most. The main reason for that is the fact that I wanted to set a block of time aside so that I could read it in its entirety as I knew I wouldn’t want to put it down once I picked up it. Well, you see kids, I am a busy man and I just finished the book this weekend. So the obvious question to anyone reading a book review is this ”Is it worth the price tag or should I just sit in Barnes and Noble and read it?”

The answer is somewhat complicated and filled with contradictions much like Chael or “Cha Cha” himself. Allow me to elaborate…

If you were looking for a tell all, layer peeling, honest look into the “Best thing since Muhammad Ali” (as Dana White states) you will only find small glimpses. The few honest stories he shares are fantastic though, from the time his parents broke the news that Santa wasn’t real, to the honest look into his childhood, including his relationship with his wrestling coach and his father (and his father’s subsequent battle with cancer.), to an honest look into his mindset leading up to, during and after a fight. These stories were definite highlights to me.

With such a strong wrestling background you can imagine that the sport is mentioned more than once. He relives some of his childhood memories on the mat, his belief that all UFC Champions (other than Junior Dos Santos and Jose Aldo) are in fact, wrestlers (He lists himself as the Middleweight Champion). He also informs us how many great Americans have a solid wrestling background, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

Sonnen is an unapologetic conservative Republican and that comes through more than anything else in the book as he shares his views on terrorists and terrorism, his love of President Nixon, the legal system and his run ins with the California State Athletic Commission.

Another highlight was the chapter “History of Wrestling and the Martial Arts” where Sonnen hilariously details the rich history of each of the individual major martial arts including Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Savate, Sambo and the like.

I’m not sure that you will buy that the foreword of this book was written by Jesus Christ himself, but if you are “all in” with Chael, you might. All kidding aside Sonnen does make an effort to share his wisdom and belief system in as much as talking about not allowing yourself to become a victim, the value of hard work, honesty, integrity and making your own destiny through hard work and dedication type of stuff. He shares a completely random Christian Bale story, which by the end of it, proves his point and makes some sense.

Somewhat surprisingly Cha Cha talks at length about the best walkout songs and movies of all time, with these chapters being some of the longest in the book. He has top ten lists and numerous honorable mentions and talks about each at length.

The Voice of Reason comes off as a man still in character for the most part and just like Sonnen in real life, he lets you see what he wants you to see as he continues to play the game. You don’t know whether to believe anything that comes out of his mouth and at times you question whether he even believes what comes out of his mouth. I take Sonnen for what he is, for what I know he is a high level wrestler and a top five competitor in the UFC’s middleweight division and one of the greatest and most successful showmen the sport has ever seen. I have met Chael and he is one of the nicest and most polite fighters I have ever met. I enjoyed the book. Should you purchase The Voice of Reason? Yes and no.