By Simon Samano/@sjsamano
For FOX Deportes
What else could Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva possibly have to say ahead of Saturday night’s middleweight championship rematch at UFC 148?
Sonnen has spewed enough trash talk to get under the champion’s skin, and Silva uncharacteristically has fired his share of salvos in response.
So now it’s time for the most anticipated rematch in UFC history to finally happen. Sonnen nearly made history at UFC 117 in becoming the first man to defeat Silva in the UFC. Sonnen beat up Silva for nearly 25 minutes before the champ pulled out a miracle triangle choke to escape with a win.
What will happen this time around? Below is a breakdown of the matchup:
Striking advantage: Silva And it’s not even close. Don’t get me wrong, Sonnen can throw down. But this is Silva’s domain. He’s the most dynamic striker in UFC history (in time, Jon Jones, in time). Given what he’s said he will do to Sonnen, it sure as hell better be on display.
Wrestling advantage: Sonnen And this isn’t close, either. Sonnen is a former NCAA All-American. Wrestling has always been Silva’s pitfall, although if there’s one thing he’s good at, it’s takedown defense. Then again, that was nowhere to be found in the first fight.
Submissions advantage: Silva Hey, this is how he won last time. And although Silva prefers the fight stay standing, if Sonnen does take down the champ, he’s fully capable of making something happen off his back.
Strength and conditioning advantage: Sonnen This is mostly on the basis of strength. Conditioning won’t be an issue for either fighter.
Experience: Push This isn’t going to factor in at all.
Keys to victory: For Sonnen, it’s easy to say the fight must go the way it did last time. And yet it’s absolutely true. He’s got to get the fight to the ground and smother Silva, only this time he’ll be wise to finish it off. … Silva, on the other hand, needs to be prepared to defend Sonnen’s takedown defense. Silva has promised to inflict a whole lot of pain on Sonnen. The only way for that to happen is to keep the fight standing and put on a striking clinic.
Prediction: Silva by third-round TKO