Chael Sonnen's wish of fighting UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for a second time was granted earlier this year, and it's safe to say he has no intentions of going the distance at UFC 148, win or lose.
For four and a half rounds in the main event at UFC 117, he dominated the Brazilian with his wrestling and ground and pound. He even knocked Silva off balance in the opening minute of the fight. Still, he could not finish his opponent and ended up getting caught in a triangle choke, forcing him to tap for the eighth time in his career.
Heading into the rematch on July 7, many are expecting Silva to be better, but will the adjustments Sonnen has made in his ground game play a bigger factor in getting a finish in this fight? Will he be able to submit a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt who is the greatest pound for pound fighter in the world?
His BJJ coach and 2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling World champion, Vinny Magalhaes, thinks so.
"It was like 23 minutes of Chael on top, and he had a good grappling domination against Anderson, but he didn't have the good jiu-jitsu guys to help him out," Magalhaes told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour. "Now he does. If he gets the chance, he is going to submit Anderson."
Sonnen picked up the fourth submission win of his career recently when he choked out Brian Stann at UFC 136. It was his first submission win since 2007. He followed up on that victory with a unanimous decision win against Michael Bisping
"Even though Chael has been a fighter for a few years now, people don't realize that Chael never had a jiu-jitsu coach with him full time," Magalhaes continued. "He was grappling with his teammates, but none of them are experts."
Since the first fight with Sonnen, Silva has gone on to defeat Yushin Okami and Vitor Belfort, both by knockout.
UFC 148 will take place in Las Vegas and feature the long awaited rematch along with an interim bantamweight championship bout with Urijah Faber. Also scheduled for the card are Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin III and Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le.
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