Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson, these are two of the biggest rivalries in the history of the UFC, but they may be about to be eclipsed by the middleweight title bout between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.
Although the undercard of UFC 148 is stacked with other strong bouts, particularly in comparison to the more recent PPV events, one fight dominates, as Sonnen goes in search of redemption that has been on his mind for almost two years.
At UFC 117, Sonnen dominated Silva for all of the fight, taking him down at will and landing close to 200 successful punches.
However, after close to 23 minutes on the defensive, Silva summoned the strength and position to put Sonnen in a triangle choke to gain what has to be said as an undeserved victory.
Sonnen’s last five defeats have now come by submission and surely he will have now learnt to curb his aggressiveness when in a dominant position on the ground to take better guard against such a submission.
Anderson must have learnt a lot from the first fight too and will have worked on a strategy to best nullify his fellow southpaw.
Silva is more accustomed to fighting orthodox opposition, but the dynamics were changed in the initial fight, not only through Sonnen’s southpaw stance, but also his desire to wrestle.
A wrestler against a striker usually throws up the most intriguing clashes and Sonnen’s style is easily the best seen in the UFC to compete with Silva’s blows.
The pair are certainly difficult to separate and interviews with some of the other fighters within UFC have offered little in picking a winner, with close to a 50/50 divide.
Therefore, Sonnen certainly looks the value bet in a fight that could go either way at 9/4 and if the title bout does go the championship distance of five five-minute rounds, he is perhaps the most likely winner.
However, with a UFC record now standing at 11-0, Silva will not only want to preserve this, but maybe make an example of Sonnen after all of the trash talking and put downs in the build up to the rematch.
Silva is 10/27 to beat Sonnen again and the 7/2 that he repeats his success by submission may be the best option in the method of victory market.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.