The highly anticipated rematch between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen has the entire MMA world talking, and with it being targeted for UFC 147 in Brazil, it didn't take long before other fighters started to look forward to it as well.
"I actually thought Chael was doing a great job talking all that craziness," said former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin. "I thought they wouldn't make the fight in Brazil. That'd be crazy."
Silva (31-4) will enter the bout having come off two impressive victories over Yushin Okami and Vitor Belfort. When he fought Sonnen (27-11-1) in August 2010, he was dominated for the better part of five rounds before submitting his opponent with less than two minutes on the clock.
Following the fight, Sonnen was suspended by the CSAC for having elevated levels of testosterone. He returned a year later to defeat Brian Stann and followed up on that win with a controversial decision victory over Michael Bisping at UFC on FOX 2.
"I think Chael Sonnen gave Anderson Silva a hell of a fight and took it to him, and we all know he lost by submission," said middleweight contender Bisping. "I think in the rematch, who knows? [Sonnen's] wrestling is very, very good, but I'm sure Anderson Silva will have addressed that problem."
Throughout his UFC career, Silva hasn't had to deal with much adversity, but when placed in front of a well-established wrestler, his takedown defense has always been taken into consideration to how much danger he is in of losing his title.
Silva, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, is comfortable off his back but isn't always the most active when put there.
"Chael has a great style to beat him," said Dan Henderson, who lost to Silva back at UFC 82. "[Sonnen] has got long arms and decent striking, and he is one of the better wrestlers in MMA."
"I like Chael's chances in that fight," said UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. "I don't think he will make the same mistake twice. In a lot of ways, he laid down the blueprint to beat Anderson."
Of Sonnen's 11 losses, eight have come by submission. Some are anticipating the same thing to happen in this fight that happened in the first, but it did give fans a fight to remember, and that's what everyone should be looking forward to heading into the bout.