UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II – Grudge Match Preview, Guest Panel Picks & Event Coverage
By PDG Staff
The biggest rematch in UFC history is live tomorrow night as UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva looks to defend the title against rival Chael Sonnen, plus Forrest Griffin locks horns for a third time with former champion Tito Ortiz in his retirement fight! UFC 148 LIVE tomorrow night at 10:00 PM EST on Pay-Per-View. Here is the PunchDrunkGamer Grudge Match Preview followed by our Grudge Match Guest Panel as they try to sort out who wins on Saturday Night.
Anderson Silva (31-4) vs. Chael Sonnen (27-11-1)
UFC Middleweight Championship
Anderson Silva joined the UFC known to hardcore fans as a devastating striker, but to casual fans was expected to lose to Chris Leben. UFC brass knew what they were getting however, and Silva dismantled Leben in only forty-eight seconds, earning a title shot against Rich Franklin. Silva made short work of Franklin to earn the UFC’s middleweight title.
His next bout was against The Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis Lutter, but Lutter’s failure to make weight found the bout contested as a non-title affair. Silva submitted Lutter with a triangle choke before winning his first official title defense against former King of Pancrase Nate Marquardt. After another TKO stoppage against Rich Franklin and a submission win over former two-divisional PRIDE champion Dan Henderson, Silva moved up to light heavyweight where he knocked out James Irvin in sixty-one seconds.
Silva returned to middleweight where he won a pair of lackluster bouts against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites before returning to light heavyweight where he knocked out former UFC champion and TUF 1 winner Forrest Griffin. Another lackluster title defense followed over Demian Maia before Silva faced Chael Sonnen. Sonnen used more effective striking, takedowns, and ground and pound to almost seal a unanimous decision, but with less than two minutes remaining in the bout Silva was able to pull out a fight-ending triangle choke to retain his title. Then Silva met fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort and knocked him out in spectacular fashion with a crane kick to Belfort’s face. Silva’s last fight was a TKO victory over Yushin Okami at UFC 134 to avenge the last loss of his career and to cap off a fifteen fight win streak (14 in the UFC, nine title defenses).
UFC Record: 14-0 (9 TKO, 3 Sub)
Strengths: Elite striking, evasive, Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
Weaknesses: Mediocre wrestling
Key Wins: Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin (2), Vitor Belfort, Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen, Forrest Griffin, Chris Leben, Nate Marquardt, Patrick Cote, Travis Lutter, James Irvin, Thales Leites, Jeremy Horn, Jorge Rivera, Carlos Newton, Hayato Sakurai, Lee Murray, Roan Carneiro, Fabricio Camoes, Yushin Okami
Notable Losses: Ryo Chonan, Daiju Takase, Luiz Azeredo, Yushin Okami (DQ)
Chael Sonnen initially earned a reputation as a tough wrestler with lackluster submission defense until he joined the WEC. In the WEC he lost a controversially by submission against Paulo Filho, but was able to win a rematch by decision. When the WEC dissolved it’s heavier weight classes, including middleweight, Sonnen re-joined the UFC ranks. Sonnen had become more well-known at this point for his pre and post-fight comments, trash-talk, and humor.
In his return to the UFC, Sonnen was submitted by Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia. He was able to rebound however and earned one-sided decisions over Dan Miller, Yushin Okami, and Nate Marquardt. The impressive streak earned Sonnen a shot at UFC champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen dominated Silva over four and a half rounds before succumbing to a hail Mary triangle choke from the champion.
Following the loss Sonnen submitted former WEC champion Brian Stann with a first round arm-triangle choke and most recently won a lop-sided decision over Michael Bisping at UFC on FOX 2 to put himself in place for this historic rematch. Sonnen owns additional notable career victories over Trevor Prangley, Tim McKenzie, Tim Credeur, Amar Suloev, and Bryan Baker.
UFC Record: 6-4 (5 Dec, 1 Sub)
Strengths: Durable, powerful wrestler
Weaknesses: Submission defense
Key Wins: Brian Stann, Bryan Baker, Trevor Prangley, Michael Bisping, Dan Miller, Nate Marquardt, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Paulo Filho
Notable Losses: Anderson Silva, Demian Maia, Babalu Sobral, Jeremy Horn (3), Forrest Griffin, Paulo Filho
UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II – Grudge Match Guest Panel Picks:
Diamond Dallas Page (DDP Yoga, former WWE & WCW Superstar) – “All I can say is WOW that’s a Tough one… it sounds like Silva is more focused than he’s ever been and for the first time ever he’s talking Smack… On the other hand does that mean Chael has gotten to him and is in his head? You can’t take shit away from Chael… He pretty much had Silva beat right up to the time he made that one mistake and Silva Made him TAP… I really don’t have a pick for this Fight I just want to see a Great fight… I’ll tell you right now I WON’T miss it!”
Ian McCall (11-3-1, Former Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Champion) – “I think Anderson wins in the 3rd round by vicious TKO.”
Cyrille Diabaté (18-8-1, PRIDE & UFC Veteran) – “Anderson Silva with a third or fourth round TKO stoppage.”
Roli Delgado (11-6-1, Ultimate Fighter Alum) – “I think we all know that Chael can win, he proved that in the first fight. However, he just isn’t the caliber of Silva. He missed his chance and will have a tough night. Silva by devastating KO.”
Scott Casber (Takedown Wrestling Radio) – “Two words, Chael Sonnen!”
Paul Bradley (20-4-1, Strikeforce & UFC Vet) – “I’m really rooting for Chael to pull this one out but with that being said I don’t see him pulling it out. I think Anderson will come in much more prepared for this fight and grab the W. I’m going with Silva by TKO in the third.”
Elvis Sinosic (The King of Rock & Rumble) – “There is a lot of controversy over the first match between Anderson and Chael. Some think that Chael totally dominated Anderson until Anderson got lucky. Some think that Anderson was playing coy looking for submission and was never in trouble. Many others are somewhere in between. To really get a better insight it is definitely worth watching the documentary “Like Water” which was shot in the lead up to their first match. In the end it comes down to the age old question, striker or grappler. Can Chael get Anderson on the ground and when he does, can he win it there. Or can Anderson keep the fight standing and win it on his feet. The fight will most likely be fought in both realms. Chael definitely has great takedowns. Anderson’s striking is spectacular to say the least. I think this time we’ll see a much more focused and injury free Anderson and a much more Angry Anderson. The real question is did Chael get in Anderson’s head and will it cause him to fight recklessly or did it just make Anderson more focused and intent on winning in dominating fashion. I think it’s somewhere in between. In the end though, I think Anderson is the more skilled fighter, the better finisher and has more ways to win this fight. Chael’s best chance is to grind out a tough 5 rounder and win a decision. Anderson has the ability to KO or Submit Chael and I think he’ll be looking to do that. I predict Anderson will win inside the distance and will do it in dominating fashion.”
Shayna Baszler (14-6, FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion) – “Sonnen will not make the same mistake. He wins this fight by decision. At least, that’s what I’m really cheering hard for……”
Daniel Roberts (12-4) – “Chael Sonnen”
Mike Reilly (Team Bison, MMA Coach, Jiu-Jitsu & Judo Black Belt) – “For all the hype the only thing that has changed is that Anderson is more motivated and angry. He will hurt Chael and run him to ground. Expect more elbows and more damage but the same result; a Spider victory.”
Andy Main (5-1-1, Ultimate Fighter Alum) – “The GOAT of MMA against the GOAT of trash talk. Although Chael may be in Anderson’s head, I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing for Chael. Anderson is a magician. I’d love to see Chael do it again, and finish the job. It would make for another four months of epic trash talk but my guess, Anderson KO’s Chael in the first. Then retires with his legacy perfectly in tact.”
Ken Pavia (Takedown Fight Media) – “I am pulling hard for Sonnen. He has shown a unique confidence and if he wins I think a large part of it is getting Anderson off his game with mental warfare. A win could change the future complexion of the game by highlighting an element that is sometimes neglected. As a fan I enjoy it.”
UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II – Fight Card:
Main Card (PPV):
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (UFC Middleweight Title Bout)
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin
Cung Le vs. Patrick Cote
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie
Mike Easton vs. Ivan Menjivar
Preliminary Card (FX):
Melvin Guillard vs. Fabricio Camoes
Gleison Tibau vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Costa Philippou vs. Riki Fukuda
John Alessio vs. Shane Roller
Preliminary Card (UFC Facebook):
Rafaello Oliveira vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo
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