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UFC 148 Preview – Chael Sonnen Vs. Anderson Silva 2


I don’t think this one needs much introduction. It’s probably going to be the UFC’s biggest fight of the year. All of talking is just about done and soon enough, Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva will finally get back in the cage.

The FGB crew along with Stevie J from Angrymarks and friend of the site JP, give their predictions for both the main event and Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin, which is supposed to be Ortiz’s retirement fight.

Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin

Alan: Ortiz by decision
Duan: Griffin by decision
Stevie: Griffin by 2nd round TKO
Big D: Griffin by decision
JP: Griffin by decision
GG: Griffin by decision

Alan says:

I don’t have much faith in either of these guys to be honest. I think if they both are motivated 100%, Griffin should take it. However I think Tito will be the more up for this of the two and I think he might just be able to get it done despite his limitations. I think he’ll land early and shake Forrest, winning Round 1 in a 10-8 manner. Griffin will come back into it but not enough to take the decision.

Duan says:

I’m reluctant to completely write off Ortiz because Tito nearly always does better than you expect. You can say what you want about him, but the guy comes to fight, and I expect no less here. I’m sure he will want desperately to leave on a win, but I just find it hard to see where it’s going to come from.

Whatever tricks he has for beating Forrest, I think we have probably already seen them in the six rounds that have gone before. And even though both those fights were close, I felt they were that way largely because Griffin made hard work for himself. He was clearly the better fighter in the second fight and I imagine, if anything, the gap between them has widened since then. I expect the judges cards will be required once more, but this time there will be no debating the verdict.

Stevie says:

I don’t think either of them is the fighter they were 3 years ago or more, but if I had to pick the one who has lost less and has more to gain from a victory, that’s definitely Forrest Griffin.

Big D says:

I think this will be a very competitive fight. I think it’ll be a very back and forth type of affair. I know Tito wants to go out a winner and hasn’t been this driven since his last battle with Chuck. Forrest has absolutely been on the decline, but perhaps this win will get him back on track. I’m actually more happy for Tito that hes getting into the Hall of Fame than anything. Still, this should be memorable. I’m picking Forrest to win by decision.

JP says:

This fight just seems like a pay check for both guys. Despite this being the rubber match, there is no obvious bad blood here and I’m not sure how badly the fans are clamoring for an encore. Ortiz is very close to his retirement and should probably hang up his gloves after this fight. He has achieved his well deserved Hall of Fame status and could excel in a coaching/trainer position for the next wave of wrestlers. Forrest has a family now and is a rather successful author with what seems like only a secondary interest in fighting. Not that anyone can blame him for enjoying other means of income outside of being punched.

As for the fight itself, neither guy is much of a threat to finish a fight anymore. I believe it will play out as the first two did, Tito trying for the takedown while Griffin shows superior standup skill. After fifteen minutes Forrest gets his hands raised and Tito says goodbye.

GG says:

It’s the final fight of the trilogy that no one clamored for. The real interest in the first fight was young Griffin going toe-to-toe with one of the greatest light heavyweights of all-time. The fight was close and Ortiz got the victory, but maybe, in hindsight, it said more about Ortiz than it did about Griffin. Griffin fought a spirited fight and nearly ruined the Ortiz/Shamrock dynamic. But really, it showed that Ortiz had slowed down. Save for two gimme fights with Ken Shamrock, it would be the last meaningful win of his career until he upset Ryan Bader. The second fight was closer than it should’ve been as Ortiz didn’t really have anything. Except this time, Forrest was coming off the drubbing Anderson Silva put on him and he’d probably lost nearly just as much as Ortiz had. So rather than calling this third fight exactly what it is, which is a fight between two guys of diminishing returns, it’s sold as this classic trilogy. The story of the fight is who has lost more. I think Ortiz has, but he also has a bit of a fire in his belly being that it’s his last fight. I think Griffin will be tactical and win a points game, but Ortiz will be the more over fighter with the crowd in the end.

Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva

Alan: Sonnen by decision
Duan: Silva by 1st round TKO
Stevie: Silva by 3rd round submission
Big D: Silva by 2nd round TKO
JP: Silva by 2nd round TKO
GG: Silva by decision

Alan says:

I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes looking at the words “Sonnen/Silva” above and not knowing what to write. I suppose I’ll start with the excitement element. Two weeks ago I was thinking this didn’t have as much momentum as it should. Now a few days away and I have to say I’m pumped! Things have really picked up in the last week and I think this show will do really well. This is the first fight in a while that when the two guys are opposite the cage from each other before the bell, I’ll be on the edge of my seat. Now for the fight itself. My heart wants Chael to win. I understand and appreciate every criticism levelled against him. Furthermore I won’t try to defend any of it. However he entertains me…. alot! Anderson, however has been annoying me for years. I’ve wanted him to lose for years. That all said, I feel I’m picking this with my brain more than my heart. There will not be a repeat of the first fight. If Chael is going to win, he is going to do what he did first time around and he will, he WILL close it out. If Anderson is going to win, it will be more like his recent wins – quick and sudden. I’m going to go with the first option. I think Chael has the guy’s number. He’s going to grind this out.

Duan says:

Generally a lot of thought and minimum bias goes in to making my picks, but that’s not what’s going to happen here, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you can jog on.

Sonnen is a cheat! He cheated his way to nearly beating the greatest champion in the sports history. He then lied about it, was caught out lying, and rather than follow the proper steps for relicensing, he hightailed it to Texas to fight.

Now he is being rewarded for all of this with a second title shot. That’s not all folks, this time he is also being given a free pass to use the very substance he was banned for to begin with. This fight is a joke on every level, and if Sonnen wins, so to is MMA.

Stevie says:

As amazing as Sonnen’s first performance was, I don’t think lightning strikes twice. I think Silva comes in 100%, not to mention twice as motivated as he was the last time they fought, and he dismantles Sonnen and submits him AGAIN to prove a point.

Big D says:

I can confidently tell you that I have been anticipating this fight since the SECOND that the first fight ended and I don’t know if I can say that about any other fight since Liddell vs. Wanderlei in December of 2007. Whether you like or hate him, Chael Sonnen is a complete self-made star. HE decided to cut those rabid, outlandish, old-school promos on Silva. HE is the guy who took the champ to the limit and won 4 1/2 rounds. HE is the guy who got wins over Stann and Bisping. HE is the guy who has sparked interest in not only himself, but Anderson Silva. But will HE be the guy to finally break Silva’s streak?

This is the hardest fight prediction I’ve made in a long time, and part of it has to do with just how fascinating the characters are and the other part has to do with my lack of interest in the product: this is the only fight I’ve REALLY cared about since Lesnar vs. Overeem. It’s can’t miss to me and the result matters. If Chael wins, we have a set up for an epic rubber match which can finally be in the stadium in Brazil. If Silva wins, he has vanquished all of his foes officially and we’re back to… well… same ole shit. So yes, my heart wants Chael Sonnen, the most entertaining man in MMA, to slay this dragon. But my mind knows that… Silva was hurt last time, he’s WAY better prepared this time, and the chance that Sonnen will catch lightning in a bottle is slim, specially against a guy at the level of Silva. So yes… my prediction – Sonnen gets Sonned in the 2nd round.

JP says:

This fight should be much much bigger in scale and hype than it is. When the initial talk of a 90,000 seat soccer stadium hosting this rematch was going around, it became impossible not to imagine the spectacle this event could be. But then the location moved to a smaller stadium, then out of Brazil until it was just another event in Las Vegas. What could have been a pinnacle night for the UFC became significantly less epic in scale.

Still this fight is not without excitement. In the recent weeks Anderson Silva has flipped a switch in terms of hype. Whether he is just lining his pockets or genuinely fired up, Anderson Silva is talking like a man ready to decimate his opponent. Already with a highlight reel of unequaled skill and brutality, one has to wonder what a pissed off Anderson is capable of.

I confess that my prediction is based solely on what I want to see. I want to see a healthy, motivated Anderson Silva toy with Sonnen and show the combat world what the best fighter alive can do when crossed. Spend a round striking and moving while Sonnen swings at air, then finish him in the second round with a new trend setting move similar to the front kick that finished Vitor Belfort.

GG says:

This is the toughest fight to predict in a while. Like Big D said, business is better if Chael Sonnen wins. Then we’d see a rubber match. If he doesn’t win, what the heck is he going to do? I think Silva pulls it out. But, I don’t think he’s going to win by knockout. I think we’re going to see a tale of two fights. Chael will eventually be able to take Silva down at some point, but I doubt it will be as easy was it was during their first fight. But I think Silva will use his kicks more to keep Sonnen at bay. After knocking out Belfort with the front kick, it has to be something on Sonnen’s mind. If you remember the first fight, the reason why Sonnen was able to take Silva down so easily is because he was tagging him with left hands. Silva had to protect against Sonnen’s strikes and it opened up the takedowns. Sonnen even started to throw wild over-hand lefts, which didn’t come close to landing, but opened up for takedowns. The way Silva can combat that is to keep Sonnen away from him, or with counter-striking, which he didn’t really do all that much the first fight. I think there will be two clear rounds for Sonnen. But I also think there will be three clear rounds for Silva. There are two things that will be in Sonnen’s head — watch for the triangle and watch for the front kick. I think Silva will out-point Sonnen three rounds to two, striking beating wrestling.

And there you have it. We’ll have live play by play of the fight tomorrow night.