At UFC on FOX 2, Chael Sonnen defeated Michael Bisping via unanimous decision, and we all know what that means:
Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva will once again meet in the Octagon.
Although Sonnen has claimed that Anderson would never fight him again, UFC President Dana White has guaranteed that the two men will lock horns later this year.
Their first fight was one for the ages, and the second fight has all the potential to be just as good.
Sonnen came closer than any other man in the UFC to defeating Anderson Silva.
Will he be able to pull it off this time?
Let's break it down...
Let me start off by saying that Chael Sonnen is an underrated boxer. When he decides to settle down and throw hands, he's actually pretty good.
In the past we have seen him have success on the feet against Yushin Okami and even Anderson Silva in the first round of their fight.
He may not have the best technique or the most power, but Sonnen is formidable on the feet and that's something a lot of people forget.
And there is Anderson Silva, the greatest striker in the history of mixed martial arts.
Formidable though Sonnen may be, he is not on Anderson's level—not even close.
Throughout his illustrious career Anderson has shown that he van be devastating with punches, kicks, knees, and elbows.
Anderson regularly clowns his opponents standing. Simply put, if you stand with Anderson Silva, you are going to lose.
Silva is the greatest striker the middleweight division has ever seen, but Sonnen may very well be the best wrestler.
Sonnen was an accomplished collegiate wrestler and Olympic alternate before entering into MMA and has used those skills to transform himself into one of the best functioning wrestlers in MMA history.
While Silva is undeniably the best fighter in MMA history, wrestling has always been his weak point, and when it comes to straight-up grappling, he is no match for Sonnen.
There first fight proves this, as Sonnen was able to plant Silva on the mat repeatedly throughout their fight.
The picture here does all my work for me.
Silva has submitted Sonnen, therefore Silva has the submissions advantage.
Submission defense has been a consistent problem for Sonnen throughout his career and has cost him more than a few big fights.
Silva, while not the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner around, is a black belt under the Nogueira brothers and is more than competent when it comes to submissions.
Apart from pure skill, there are many different factors that influence the outcome of a fight.
Cardio, experience, mental toughness, and ability to absorb punishment can all play a roll.
As far as cardio goes, I would give a slight advantage to Sonnen, who is known for his ability to push the pace and never get tired.
Silva also has good cardio, but he doesn't usually fight at the same grueling pace that Sonnen does.
Experience is a push, as both men have the best experience they could possibly have—they have already fought each other.
In terms of mental toughness, it's tough to say who has the edge. Sonnen has been bombarding Silva with trash talk for years now and there is a good chance he could be in Silva's head.
Both men have excellent chins and have never technically been knocked out, though Sonnen has been stopped due to cuts.
All in all, the intangibles pretty well even out.
In what will be the most anticipated rematch in UFC history, Anderson Silva will once again beat Chael Sonnen.
Sonnen will make a fight of it, like he did the first time, but five rounds is a long time to be in the cage with the best ever.
Silva will catch Sonnen with something before the fight ends.
Sonnen will come out aggressive and keep Silva off balance, controlling the fight with his wrestling.
Silva will win any exchanges on the feet, but they will be few and far between, as Sonnen will take any chance to bring the fight to the ground.
While on the ground, Silva will do damage with elbows from the bottom, as well as dealing damage in the brief time the fight spends standing.
Sonnen, who cuts easily, will be a bloody mess by the end of the third round, and the ringside doctor will call the fight.
Winner: Anderson Silva via TKO (cut)