Chael Sonnen vs. Rashad Evans and the Battle of the Takedown

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2013

Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chael Sonnen is congratulated after defeating Shogun Rua during a UFC Light Heavyweight match at the TD Garden.  Sonnen won in one round by a knockout. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 167 is the organization's 20th anniversary show and it's headlined by the UFC Welterweight Championship match between Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks.

After defeating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Chael Sonnen lobbied for a co-main event fight on this highly anticipated card. Dana White and company obliged him, and Rashad Evans stepped up to the plate.

The bout is between two excellent MMA wrestlers with quality stand-up. The winner of this fight will most likely be who can win the wrestling battle.

Sonnen's power double is one of the best in the sport. He has achieved a lot of success in the cage with it. He gives his opposition no space to work, drives through them and puts them on their back. Sonnen's takedowns are proven.

In a straight-up wrestling match-up, Sonnen takes it. His credentials far exceed Evans'.

Evans has an explosive shot, but as a singular technique it is not as effective as Sonnen's. Evans, however, has beautiful transitions from striking to wrestling. They are some of the absolute in the best in the sport. His transition in the first round against Rampage Jackson is the picture-perfect example of how to level change from striking to takedowns in MMA.

These two fighters are good at takedown defense, but not great. They have been taken down themselves. Most recently, Shogun Rua was able to put Sonnen on his back.

Neither fighter is in the top 10 in takedown defense or takedown accuracy in UFC history, but Evans is No. 7 in total takedowns landed at 49.

Sonnen's takedown defense percentage is two points higher than Evans' at 68 percent, but his accuracy is 12 points more than the former UFC light heavyweight champion's. In their last five fights Evans has five takedowns and Sonnen has 11.

In recent times Evans has been more focused on utilizing his stand-up than his wrestling. If he continues to follow this trend he will lose to Sonnen at UFC 167.

Who will be able to impose their style on the other? It will be one of the most intriguing matchups on the UFC 167 fight card. If you are a fan of stylistic battles then this is one of the more interesting fights to close out the year.

The two Fox Sports MMA analysts will provide several sound bytes leading up to the event, but it will not be as entertaining as watching these two battle for supremacy in November.