UFC 148 features one of the biggest rematches in UFC history as Anderson Silva (29-4) and Chael Sonnen (28-11-1) fight for the UFC middleweight championship. The two men battled at UFC 117 in August of 2010 with Silva coming away with the submission victory. However, Sonnen is the only fighter in recent years that has given Silva trouble, as he won the first four rounds on every scorecard before being submitted in the fifth. Here is a breakdown of this Saturday's main event.
Striking: Anderson Silva is one of the best strikers in UFC history. Silva lands his strikes at an average of 68%. Meaning he lands around seven of ten strikes he attempts. Silva also has devastating KO power (just ask Vitor Belfort) and can end the fight with one strike. Silva also has 64% striking defense, meaning he is very good at avoiding the strikes of his opponents (just ask Forrest Griffin). According to the numbers, Sonnen is not out of his league while on the feet with Silva, as Sonnen lands 3.24 strikes per minute, compared to Silva's 3.18. Sonnen also absorbs less strikes than Silva and has high striking defense. However, Silva is one of the most devastating strikers in the game and every minute this fight stays standing is an advantage for Silva. Advantage: Silva
Ground Game: This is where Chael Sonnen thrives, as he is one of the best wrestlers in MMA. Sonnen averages 4.01 takedowns per 15 minutes compared to Silva's 0.75. Sonnen is also a very active wrestler, he does not just lay on his opponents for 15 minutes. When Sonnen gets on top of his opponent, he does serious damage to the head and body of them. Silva does have 69% takedown defense, and Silva does average more submission attempts than Sonnen. Sonnen's last five losses have all come via submission and he does leave himself open to the submission. However, as seen in their first fight, Sonnen has a distinct advantage on the ground when he gets Silva there. Advantage: Sonnen
X-Factor: There are a lot of X-Factors in this fight. The first one is the anger of Anderson Silva. At the pre-fight press conference he tried to bully Sonnen during their stare-down and had to be restrained. Although, usually fighters that fight with anger leave themselves open because they do not have a level head. Another X-Factor is what did both men take away from their first fight. Silva got better from his back as the fight when on and submitted Sonnen with a triangle choke from his back. Sonnen has stated that he was gassed in the final round and his conditioning his stronger now. Advantage: Even
All statistics courtesy of Fight Metric.
Here are some Anderson Silva highlights courtesy of Youtube
Here is the full video of UFC Countdown featuring Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva. All rights to Zuffa and Youtube.