I already know what you’re thinking, WHO ON EARTH IS CHAEL SONNEN??? Furthermore I know that if you’ve heard some of the pre-fight hype, you’re thinking the same exact thing that I’m thinking. “Who has this guy beaten??”
Never fear, your friendly neighborhood Prince is here to assist you. Let’s start by dispelling the taboo that an MMA fighter’s skill is determined by his win/loss record, this is systematically untrue. This is one of the reasons why I love MMA so much. Take the Fedor/Verdum fight that almost every fight fan nearly guaranteed Fedor victory, we all know the result of that fight, we all saw that Fedor can be beat. Can the same be said for Anderson “The Spider” Silva?
If you ask me, yes and no. Silva does have 4 losses as a professional. In my eyes I only saw one loss to Ryo Chonen, that was the most amazing heel hook ever pulled off. Now flash forward to Silva’s current graveyard of combatants. Nate Marquardt, Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson and Forrest Griffin to name the top tier of his opponents that felt the wrath. Did I just name one time title holders and or title contenders? Also did I mention that none of these outstanding fighters made it out of the 2nd round? Yeah, that just happened.
So now let’s take a look at Chael Sonnen, now I’m not trying to Vilify this man whatsoever, he is a solid wrestler and can brawl, but he doesn’t belong in the Octagon with Silva just yet. Sonnen can bring the fight, he can grapple, he has a decent ground game but his stand up is quite suspect. To beat Silva, he’s going to have to commit to a solid gameplan to keep Silva on the ground and to limit his movement. Here’s the problem with that, Dan Henderson, a world class Olympian couldn’t even keep Silva on the ground for an entire round. Chael is going to have to put a roll of Quarters in his hand before the fight so he can get a knockout.
Now keep in mind that both Silva & Sonnen have shared opponents with different outcomes. One of Silva’s 4 losses came at the hands of Yushin Okami, although it was a disqualification and Silva was winning the fight, it’s still logged in as a loss. Sonnen put a beating on Okami. Nate Marquardt was dismantled by both Silva & Sonnen. But Demian Maia is the wildcard in this equation. Maia submitted Sonnen with a great triangle choke, then came time to fight Silva, Maia wanted none of it, which angred fans as well as Silva.
With all that said I’m going to put my money on Anderson Silva by knockout in the very first round. Sonnen’s mouth has written a check that his arse can’t cash. So Chael Sonnen I say to you what the Albanians said to Liam Neeson in “Taken”