Randy Couture believes Anderson Silva has to make serious adjustments to overcome Chael Sonnen in the rematch.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com, the UFC Hall of Famer and former two-division champ broke down the highly anticipated UFC 148 main event.
According to Couture, the winner of the first fight is generally under the most pressure in determining what new game plan his opponent is going to come up with. Oddly enough, the pressure of anticipation lies squarely on Sonnen's shoulders in the rematch.
In the first bout, he dominated Silva for four-and-a-half rounds before giving up a submission late in the fifth. Silva will obviously look to change things up in hopes of the second fight playing out differently. What does this mean for Sonnen?
Couture weighs in:
It's almost like [Sonnen] has a disconnect, he loses faith or confidence in himself, and he kind of lets up, and a guy finds a way to get him in trouble...I think his win over [Nate Marquardt] gave him a particular confidence to carry him through that I don't think he had before that. I thought that was the turning point.
It's hard to say in the Anderson fight if that little bit of doubt creeped back in his mind in the end there, if he got so close and kind of thought to himself, 'Man, am I really going to win this,' and kind of let up. We've always seen Chael, where against [Paulo Filho], he came back and stuck to it and managed to win. I think that's what we're going see this time.
Sonnen has been submitted eight times in his professional career, and half of those losses came by triangle choke.
If taken down, Silva will be looking to once again exploit holes in Sonnen's submission defense. It'll be up to "Uncle Chael" to make the necessary adjustments and be prepared to deal with whatever new wrinkles Silva shows on July 7.
"It's kind of odd," said Couture. "Normally, I would say that the onus is on the guy who won the first fight to anticipate the changes the loser is going to make and get the same outcome."
If you look, I know in my own performances, Chuck [Liddell] made adjustments the second time, which was hard to predict what those adjustments were going to be and how do I then be prepared?...It's guess work. So, it's harder for the guy that won in the second fight.
But if you look at Anderson and Chael, Anderson won by triangle choke with two minutes left. He didn't really win the fight. He got his ass whooped—literally—for four-plus rounds. So, it's almost like, even though Chael needs to make some adjustments and obviously figure out how to stop a triangle, but it's almost like he was the guy that won. He wants it to go the same minus the triangle.