Well it's finally here folks, UFC 117 in Oakland, California is now only one day away, and with the weigh-ins tonight the anticipation is palpable.
As I am sure most of you know by now the event is headlined by a UFC Middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.
The tension between these two was clearly there at the pre-fight press conference yesterday and the cracks may finally be appearing in Anderson Silva's demeanor, which only adds to the intrigue of this main event.
Ever since this fight was confirmed, Chael Sonnen has launched a verbal tirade on Anderson Silva and anything to do with the Middleweight champion.
No one has been spared abuse by Sonnen, with Ed Soares, the Nogueiras, and recently, Lance Armstrong coming under fire from the vociferous No. 1 contender.
However, the time for talk is rapidly running out and Sonnen is going to have to put up or shut up on Saturday night at UFC 117.
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
What's the Deal?
P4P great and possibly the greatest champion in UFC history, Anderson Silva will defend his title for the seventh time this weekend.
Much criticized for his recent performances, fans and UFC President Dana White will be hoping that UFC 117 finally see's the "Spider" return to his ballet of violence against the tough Sonnen.
Sonnen is a durable wrestler who will be looking to pull off what would be a big upset and defeat Silva.
This is probably the easiest "Why Care?" segment I've done in the build up to UFC 117, I mean, how can you not care about this main event if you are a fight fan.
First watch this great video to get your juices flowing.
Anderson Silva is easily one of the greatest fighters in MMA today, however, his abilities do not transfer to popularity.
For whatever reason, Silva does not connect with many fans, and with bizarre actions like he displayed in his UFC 112 fight with Demian Maia, it's easy to see why. Silva has simply not been behaving like fans and Dana White feel their champions should.
Chael Sonnen seems to have taken the actions of Silva personally, as he made it his personal mission to capture the Middleweight title and defeat Silva and he has not been shy about telling the world about his opinion of Silva.
Sonnen has invested so much trash talk and laid his whole reputation on the line in the build up to this fight that, win or lose, he simply has to deliver something big at UFC 117.
The determination of Sonnen and the fact that he finally seems to have actually got under the skin of Silva just make this main event a must watch. Add a UFC title to the equation and UFC 117 potentially has one of the best main events of the summer, let's just hope it delivers.
Now the fun part.
To make my pick, I really had to separate the MMA writer from the MMA fan.
As a fan, I really want Chael Sonnen to win. I think it would reinvigorate the Middleweight division and allow Anderson to move to 205 lbs, where the possibilities are amazing.
However, the MMA analyst side of me says that Silva will emerge from the weekend still the champion. As good as Sonnen has been in his recent fights, and as great as his wrestling is, Silva simply has more ways to win this fight then Sonnen does.
Sonnen's wrestling, takedowns and ground and pound are what his supporters are championing as his ways to win the fight. However, the ground and pound style of Sonnen may very well be his kryptonite.
Staying in the guard of Silva and posturing up to land strikes is begging for Silva to land a submission. Therefore, Sonnen should be looking to pass guard, but this is not something that he is known for.
All in all, I just think that Silva has a huge advantage on the feet, and if the fight does go to the floor, his ground game should not be underestimated.
Winner = Anderson Silva.
I just hope that I am wrong on this one!
Let me hear your thoughts.
Be sure to check out my preview of the other fights on the UFC 117 Main Card.
*Credit to NicktheFace, this dude makes awesome MMA promo vids, check him out.