The UFC is gearing up for a massive UFC 147 event in Rio de Janeiro’s Engenhao Stadium. President Dana White is on record saying that he expects attendance records for the UFC to be broken that day. To do so, White would have to deliver a worthy main event, and despite Chael Sonnen‘s campaign of reverse psychology claiming the fight won’t happen, he will face UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in what is probably the most anticipated rematch in UFC history. Take a look at http://www.betdsi.com/live-lines/martial-arts/mma-ufc - as you can see the line is up, and has Silva installed as a comfortable favorite at -275, with Sonnen’s comeback at +215.
Though Chael earned a lot of respect and made a lot of fans with his tremendous showing against Silva in their first meeting, the odds reflect the odd pall that has settled over the match, and that is the sinking feeling a lot of fans have that Sonnen can’t do it again. OR can he? Sonnen fought a near perfect fight the first time out, against a near perfect champion who had to resort to his bag of tricks to win the match late. Can he improve the little bit necessary to break through and win?
Most people say no. Silva has had two successful, dominant wins since their meeting (over Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami) , and he has also had time to rehab lingering injuries. Silva will be fighting in his home town, and he has to feel like he dodged a bullet the first match. He won’t make that mistake this time out, more likely he will want to send a message by making short work of his annoying nemesis.
Sonnen has shown an improved ground game in his two matches back, taking out Brian Stann with a submission and outlasting top contender Michael Bisping. Sonnen is going to have to ground Silva several times in this fight to have a chance, and the question is has he learned enough to stay safe and apply his ground and pound?
The match is still a long way away, and some action could come in on Sonnen, but I expect the line to make Silva a bigger favorite as the fight approaches.
Sonnen, despite a dominant performance the first time out, still has few believers this time around. If Sonnen can go to Brazil and return with the UFC Middleweight Championship, he will have written one of the most incredible stories in UFC history.