Advertisement

Uncaged: The time for talking is over, (unfortunately), it’s Silva versus Sonnen II.

The verbal battle between the two has been fascinating.

Chael Sonnen, top, competes against Anderson Silva in 2010.
Chael Sonnen, top, competes against Anderson Silva in 2010.
Image: Jeff Chiu/AP/Press Association Images

IT’S ALMOST DISAPPOINTING to realise that the build-up and hype to possibly the biggest fight in the history of the UFC will finally come to an end this weekend.

The re-match between middleweight champ Anderson “Spider” Silva and Chael Sonnen happens in Las Vegas tonight and as in their first fight, the lead-up has been littered with close to the bone comments from Sonnen that have only served to enrage Silva.

The fascinating verbal battle between the two has been something special to watch and has brought the level of hype around the fight to fever-pitch but that will all be put to bed when the two step into the Octagon as the main event at UFC 148.

It’s a testament to the enormity of the main event that the impending retirement of one of the greats of the sport, Tito Ortiz, has been almost universally overlooked and his rubber match with Forrest Griffin has taken a back seat in the general scheme of things.

Silva’s nemesis awaits, again.

No-one has been closer to victory over the greatest UFC fighter ever than Chael Sonnen. In his first fight with Silva at UFC 117, Sonnen dominated for four and a half rounds in a way that no one had dominated Silva before, but he still didn’t win the fight. Silva locked in a triangle choke and recorded the latest ever stoppage in a UFC fight to keep hold of his middleweight crown and keep his unrivalled, unbeaten run in the UFC alive. Now, after defeating Brian Stann and Michael Bisping, Sonnen has climbed back up the ladder and they get to go toe-to-toe once more and we get to watch.

Sonnen has brought the hype to a new level when he mixed in comments about Silva’s wife on a recent “UFC Countdown” programme, dispelling any lingering doubt that this fight isn’t personal. The comments forced the usually ice-cold persona of Silva to slip during this week’s press conference.

YouTube Credit: SUPAFIGHTLEAGUE

In terms of when the action starts, there won’t be many surprises from Sonnen’s point of view. He’s made no secret of his game-plan and he’ll look to do exactly everything he did in the first fight, grab Silva, take him to the ground and try and grind him into submission with relentless strikes from the top position.
Rumours have surfaced late this week that Steven Seagal has taught “The Spider” some new moves in a bid to try and stop Sonnen and he could have one or two new tricks up his sleeve as he looks to continue his remarkable unbeaten UFC run. This is definitely one fight that you cannot afford to miss.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

Tito looking to bow out on a high

Being overshadowed by one of the biggest fights in history probably isn’t the way Tito Ortiz had wanted to hang-up his gloves but in a way he was lucky to get this many fights in the organisation and it will be an emotional night for him nevertheless. He prolonged his career by three fights due to his shock win over Ryan Bader at UFC 132 and he at least had the opportunity to prepare himself for retirement on his own terms. His fight with Forrest Griffin is an apt way to bow out as it will also bring closure to their trilogy of fights with the score currently standing at one fight apiece.

Ortiz has recently re-branded himself from “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” to “The People’s Champ” as he comes full circle, with the fans now cheering in admiration for the man they used to love to hate. Let’s hope we can see the famous “Grave Digger” celebration one last time.

YouTube Credit: UFCxxx7

With all this going on it’s easy to forget that there is more fights on this card and good fights at that. Chad Mendes is looking to put his defeat by Jose Aldo behind him as he faces the modified guillotine specialist Cody McKenzie. Ivan Menjivar and Mike Easton kick off the action on the main card while Patrick Cote and Cung Le also go head to head in the Octagon. The fight between Dong Hyun Kim and Demian Maia completes this stellar card.

London 2012: Introducing… Aileen Morrison

About the author:

Brian Kirk

Read next:

COMMENTS (3)