Chael Sonnen won’t win his rematch against Anderson Silva on the feet. He will need to take the fight down to the ground and control the fight there.
After training for two weeks with Vinny Magalhaes in Oregon and watching film of the first fight, Sonnen should have made necessary adjustments to his ground game.
There has been a growing discussion surrounding whether or not Sonnen can avoid being submitted and what his options are on the ground.
Sonnen recently sat down with Jon Anik on Fuel TV’s UFC Ultimate Insider to analyze the first fight with Silva.
Of note, it’s interesting to hear that the choke was so deep that Sonnen didn’t know where he was, with the following brief dialogue between Sonnen and the referee:
I remember asking the referee when it was done, 'What happened?' He said 'You tapped,' and I simply said, 'I believe you.' I didn't even know where I was. He had [the triangle choke] so tight. This is such a nice technique. I would love to catch somebody in that myself. It's very devastating once you're put in it.
The "Gracie breakdown" of Silva’s submission shows that Sonnen did his homework and was prepared, but he still had a quick mental lapse that Silva capitalized on:
Ryron and Rener Gracie noted Silva’s wrist control before he locked in the triangle, and they also discussed what Sonnen did right and wrong prior to tapping out.
Will Silva be able to finish the fight on the feet, or will he have to defend off his back again? If he’s on his back, will Sonnen be able to defend any submission attempts while landing strikes—and maybe even trying for a submission himself?
We’ll find out on Saturday night when both men face off during one of the most anticipated UFC fights of the year.