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Un-caged: Sonnen-Silva II pencilled in for UFC 147

The fight that some are calling the biggest in MMA history looks set to occur.

Anderson Silva (above) is set for a re-match with Chael Sonnen.
Anderson Silva (above) is set for a re-match with Chael Sonnen.

DESPITE BEING IN the midst of a very quiet period of UFC action, Dana White is keen to show that the organisation is merely catching its breath in preparation for a busy couple of months.

While there isn’t much happening inside the Octagon at the minute, the UFC’s well-timed announcement that the Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva re-match is provisionally booked for this summer in Brazil, can only serve to appease MMA fans.

The biggest fight in MMA history?

This re-match has the potential of being one of the biggest fights ever in MMA, in more ways than one.

For the first time ever, the UFC will hold an event at the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange in Rio de Janeiro, a 47,000-seater stadium home to the Brazilian football team Botafogo.

There is even talk of extending the seating in the arena so that up to 80,000 fans can be present to see their Brazilian hero take on the best trash talker in the business.

Despite recent proclamations from Sonnen that Silva wouldn’t fight him again, the deal has been verbally agreed by the two parties and a press conference has been called next week to complete the formalities.

Questions will no doubt be raised as to the personal safety of Sonnen, given the fact that he has trashed the country as a whole on so many occasions. He completely disregarded this bit of friendly advice given to him by Wanderlei back in 2010 and has continued to aim verbal volleys at all things Brazilian.


YouTube Credit: dotcomaniac

It is hard to imagine what sort of environment he will walk into on June 23, but it must surely be akin to Thierry Henry walking to the centre circle at Croke Park in front of 80,000 Irish supporters and waving “that hand” at them.

I get the feeling the words “hostile” and “environment” won’t adequately reflect the reception Chael will get as he enters the arena, but it certainly does add an extra dimension to the bout. You have all this to consider before a punch or kick has even been thrown.

Sonnen: Brave or foolish?

With all this going on, the attention can drift away from the reason why all this is happening: the fight.

There is no doubt in their first fight Sonnen beat Silva in every one of the first four rounds, and beat him well, before being caught in a triangle and tapping out in the final round.


YouTube Credit: jigsawkid95

Sonnen’s awesome display was overshadowed by the fact that he was banned soon after for having higher than normal testosterone levels.

He has since gone on to defeat Brian Stann and won the right to fight the champ again after a very close decision victory over Michael Bisping, but looked somewhat ordinary in both bouts.

Since their first fight, Silva has KO’d Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami, and still looked every ounce the best fighter in the world, despite question marks over his hunger and desire to continue competing in the sport.

With all these factors to consider, this is already the most talked about and eagerly awaited fight in MMA history, before a contract has even been signed.

Read: Column: Is there such a thing as Dublin derby overkill?>

Read: Follow Friday: It’s Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu>

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Brian Kirk

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