UFC on FOX 2 Results: 5 Things Chael Sonnen Needs to Do to Beat Anderson Silva
Despite coming in as a heavy favorite against Michael Bisping, the long-time No. 1 Middleweight contender, Chael Sonnen, got all he could handle last Saturday on UFC on FOX 2.
In the end, Sonnen was able to earn his long awaited rematch against the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, Anderson Silva, a man he came within 100 seconds of defeating a few years ago.
With the rematch set to happen this summer in Brazil, Sonnen will need to focus on improving and closing the gaps in his game if he is to finally and truly win UFC gold.
Here are just five things that the All-American wrestler needs to do to beat the champ, Anderson Silva.
5. Work on Top Control
No, I don't mean THAT top control.
Its almost a given that at some point Chael Sonnen will get Anderson Silva to the ground and gain top control—it just depends on what he does when in the position.
Unlike when he fought Silva and Stann, Bisping was able to negate the ground-and-pound from Sonnen and avoid putting himself in bad positions. Sonnen doesn't have the leeway to give up advantages like top control to Silva because "The Spider" will find a way to submit Sonnen or stand-up if given the chance.
With better top control, Sonnen cannot only keep Silva on the ground but also avoid being submitted like he was the first time.
4. Prepare Better
After looking tired and slow at times during his fight against Michael Bisping, some have questioned the preparation of Chael Sonnen.
There have been reports that he had a tough weight cut, making it even more important that he prepare correctly and make sure that he is in the best shape possible.
One of the other things Sonnen will need to avoid is being popped for a positive drug test after. He has no excuse if he tests positive, and that would ruin his career and reputation no matter the result of his rematch against Silva.
3. Improve His Boxing
One of the many claims Chael has made in his last few years of fame is that he has never lost a boxing match.
Against a superior boxer in Michael Bisping, Sonnen found himself on his toes several times including taking a punch that "made him forget where he was."
If Sonnen is going to take home the UFC gold from the best striker in the 185 division, if not all of MMA, he needs to continue to improve his boxing and show that he can score points standing.
It's not just about going for the knockout or landing a big punch. Rather, it is about keeping the fight even when standing and scoring points when throwing strikes.
He needs to give Silva a moment of hesitation so that he can attack for a takedown and get the top position he so desires and needs to win the fight.
2. Avoid the Clinch
One of Anderson Silva's biggest and best weapons is his Muay Thai clinch, something that he uses to control and crush his opponent's will. Even more concerning was that fact that Chael Sonnen was controlled in the clinch by a man who had never previously shown clinch dominance, Michael Bisping.
Though Bisping's clinch was about pressure and the use of the cage rather than controlling the head and inflicting damage, clinch defense is something that needs to be improved immediately if Sonnen is to take home UFC gold.
Being controlled in the clinch is something that can be a huge problem against Silva because it not only can be very damaging, but it makes it nearly impossible to get a takedown.
Sonnen will need to stay in control and avoid being controlled because Silva has many more weapons to defeat Sonnen than the Oregon All-American has to defeat Silva.
1. Shut Up and Let Your Skills Do the Talking
Simply put: The public is quickly growing tired of Sonne's trash-talking.
While it was fun and very entertaining before his first fight with Silva, even back then fans began to turn on him. During the weigh-ins for their first match-up, Sonnen was heavily boo'd before regaining his big mouth after nearly winning the title.
Since then, his talk has become more rehearsed and much less entertaining, causing many of his fans to turn on him.
Sonnen doesn't need to hype up this fight, because everyone knows what this fight is and means. Rather, he needs to shut-up and train, letting his skills do the talking for once. Otherwise, the only fight he will win against Silva will be the war of words...