Chael Sonnen‘s reverse psychology seems to have worked, as the UFC has announced his Middleweight Title rematch versus Anderson Silva for the UFC 147 event scheduled for June 16th. For several weeks, Sonnen has changed the tone of his verbal onslaught on Silva, stating that he didn’t think Silva would ever agree to a rematch. UFC 147 is scheduled for Sao Paulo, the Brazilian capital, and is reported to be in a sixty thousand seat soccer stadium. The UFC needed a big fight for this massive event, and this rematch, as has been stated, may turn into the biggest match in UFC history. The finals of the UFC Brazil TV show will take place on the same card, as well as the coaches battle between Vitor Belfort and Anderson Silva. The UFC should make this a stellar card from top to bottom, as no one can really be sure what we will get in the main event.
The first meeting between Silva and Sonnen was certainly an epic fight, and perhaps this second fight will be just as good, but we all know how these things can go.
It is a long way away, and Silva is coming off a layoff that includes a rehabilitation from surgery, so it will certainly be interesting to see the preparedness of Silva for this fight.
Based on his recent performances, we saw Sonnen at or very near his best in the first match with Silva. He was strong and aggressive, he dictated the pace of the fight and where it was going to take place, and except for a fatigue induced ground fighting error, Sonnen dominated the fight.
This makes Silva the X-Factor for this fight. It is a pretty sure thing that Silva was not at his best in that first Sonnen fight. Do you remember Silva around the time of the Forrest Griffin fight? Silva felt challenged, facing a bigger guy, a guy with a reputation as a grinder. Griffin had fought in Brazil on a high profile show against UFC vet Ebenezer Braga back in 2003, and he surprised with a rear naked choke victory – Silva knew Griffin was a serious fighter for a long time, and he came in focused, in great condition and with a mean streak and killer instinct. Silva did not fool around, and he bludgeoned Griffin in very short order. IF that is the Silva that shows up for the second Sonnen match, it could be just as short.
In the first match Sonnen served notice, and got Silva’s attention. So Silva took the time for the surgery, he avoided giving too much attention to the rematch, and he signed for it in what will potentially be the biggest UFC ever. I think we get a different Anderson Silva for this rematch.