Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen: 5 Ways This Fight Could Go
This fight could go in several directions, and it's the first fight in a long time where fans could make a strong argument for a winner on either side.
The reason for that is because there are questions left unanswered. Silva had an injured rib in their first fight at UFC 117, which many believe led to Sonnen's domination. But then again, Sonnen's pressuring style could be Silva's kryptonite.
Silva could come out more focused and more determined to knock out Sonnen early, or Sonnen could put Silva on his back and beat a hole in his face.
With so many intriguing elements surrounding the rematch, here's five ways this fight can go tonight.
Silva Wins via First-Round KO
There's one thing we know for sure heading into UFC 148—Silva isn't playing around this time.
He wants to hurt Sonnen. Furthermore, he wants to make an example out of the trash-talking challenger.
This has caused him to let out more emotion than he normally does in the pre-fight buildup. But can he contain his rage?
If everything goes as plan for "The Spider," he'll play el matador to Sonnen's bullish takedowns and land a highlight reel KO in the first round.
With the example set and his adversary defeated, Silva finally shuts the mouth of Sonnen.
Sonnen Wins via Decision
Can Sonnen avoid The Spider's bite?
More importantly, can he avoid Silva's venomous triangle choke?
If he can do that and ensure the takedown in every round, this should be a repeat of the first fight, with a different conclusion, of course.
If successful, Sonnen puts Silva on his "prissy little ass" and earns himself a unanimous decision.
Silva Wins via Triangle Choke...Again
There's no way Silva catches him in a triangle again. Just no way. Eh, but then again, stranger things have happened.
With a sport like MMA being virtually unpredictable, fans have learned to expect the unexpected going into fights. With that said, hardly anyone is talking about the possibility of Silva catching Sonnen in a triangle choke again.
At some point in this fight, Sonnen should get this fight to the ground and Silva will work from his guard to set up another submission.
With the triangle and armbar having been Sonnen's Achilles heel in his MMA career, the odds of Silva catching again are quite favorable.
Silva Wins via Decision
Sonnen could very well be too tough to knock unconscious.
Sonnen has never lost by KO or TKO in a Zuffa-owned promotion, and if he's unable to get the takedown every round, Silva could pick him apart on the feet.
The challenger will force the action, no doubt, but with his great chin, he might be able to withstand an onslaught of kicks and punches from Silva.
Don't expect Abu Dhabi to happen again because of Sonnen's ability to take Silva down, but an embarrassing one-sided beatdown by Silva could easily happen.
Sonnen Wins via TKO
If Sonnen plays his cards right, he could finish what he started at UFC 117.
Sonnen hit Silva with multiple hard shots in their first bout, and if he can continue the same game plan, he could potentially stop Silva.
Rather than just sitting in guard, Sonnen could advance into half guard and side control to put himself in a better position to stop the fight. His ground game is good enough to advance, as he's shown that in the first fight with six guard passes.
Sonnen simply went for control rather than trying to advance. This is a minor tweak in the game plan, but this change could see Sonnen finishing Silva by TKO.