Forrest Griffin vs. Chael Sonnen Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Anthony FuscoCorrespondent IIIAugust 16, 2012

Forrest Griffin vs. Chael Sonnen Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    After much speculation, Chael Sonnen has finally decided on a course of action. He has decided to move up in weight to the light-heavyweight division.

    He's barely been there for 48 hours, and he has already engaged in a twitter war with champion Jon Jones.

    That aside, I'm here to talk about the other thing Chael has done. He has found himself an opponent.

    Forrest Griffin and Chael Sonnen will throw down at UFC 155 to determine who stays relevant at 205.

    Let's break down this fight, shall we?

Striking

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    Between these two competitors, there are only 10 finishes by way of KO or TKO.

    Interestingly enough, Sonnen owns more wins by KO/TKO than does Griffin.

    Nevertheless, Griffin is the much better striker of the two. In the past, he has utilized punches and kicks well to keep opponents off balance.

    Look at Griffin's fight with Rampage Jackson, and you can see how well Forrest mixed up his kicks and his strikes to take some power away from Rampage.

    We haven't see striking like that from Sonnen, so Griffin takes this category.

    Edge: Griffin

Wrestling

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    I think it's pretty clear who the better wrestler is in this matchup.

    Chael Sonnen is a high-level wrestler, and that style is his bread and butter without a question.

    He uses it very well in all his fights to control his opponents, to transition to a better position and to unleash some ground and pound.

    His wrestling has helped him win victories over Brain Stann, Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami. He also dominated Anderson Silva in their first encounter, largely using his ground and pound and transitions.

    The edge is pretty clear here.

    Edge: Sonnen

Grappling/Submissions

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    Griffins owns seven wins by submission to Sonnen's four.

    In the past, submissions have proven to be the biggest weakness for Sonnen, as he has lost eight fights that way.

    Interestingly enough, one of those losses was to Forrest Griffin himself, when they fought back in 2003. It ended with Griffin catching him in a triangle choke.

    Sonnen stays very active on the ground and has excellent transitions, but he has been caught in submissions before.

    Forrest has a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and his ground game is vastly underrated by many. With submissions being Sonnen's Achilles heel, I have to give a slight edge to Griffin here.

    Edge: Griffin

Intangibles

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    I have to question a few things.

    The first: How motivated is Forrest Griffin right now?

    He looked terrible against Shogun and lackluster against Ortiz. He is a completely different fighter from that which fans are used to seeing.

    How motivated will he be come fight night? Only time will tell.

    The second, is how does Sonnen fare moving back up in weight, and how focused is he coming off of another loss to Anderson Silva?

    We'll see which fighter brings the momentum with them.

    Does a weight class change reinvigorate Sonnen? Or does Griffin use the momentum from the Ortiz win to keep pushing?

Prediction

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    Forrest has looked unmotivated and tired in his past few fights. I think that will play a large part in this fight.

    I believe that Sonnen's return to light-heavyweight will help his career out. A bigger, stronger, more focused Chael is definitely something to watch out for.

    I believe Sonnen will be able to take Griffin down, to ground and pound him without getting caught in a submission and to take the decision victory.

    Prediction: Sonnen def. Griffin via decision