I’m looking forward to Silva vs. Sonnen. I think Sonnen is trying to knock Silva off his game with the trash talking. Will it backfire, or will the highly emotional Anderson get caught in the trap? Either way, this promises to be a very good fight. Unlike Demian Maia, who is lethal on the ground, but didn’t have the skills to get Silva to the ground, Sonnen brings ample takedown experience in to the fight. Ironically however he has shown himself vulnerable to a variety of submissions. He’s been choked out a few times and has tapped from armbars as well.
This fight will most assuredly go to the ground. Sonnen is a well accomplished wrestler in both Greco Roman, two time national champion, and Olympic alternate. And well accomplished in freestyle as well, where he was a College All American. Will Silva’s ground game be up to the task of tapping out Sonnen? If he cannot do that he will most surely take a Nate Marquardt style beating which would please many a disgruntled fan who didn’t like his antics against Maia.
Since Sonnen is an intelligent fighter I don’t see him trying to exchange punches with Silva, as Silva’s stand-up game is surely his strongest suit. I see this fight going to the ground early on as Silva will not be able to prevent the takedown. When he fought Dan Henderson who is also a strong Greco Roman wrestler he could not prevent the takedown. Will he choke out Sonnen as he did Henderson back in 2008?
If you recall the Henderson fight Dan Henderson had Silva in trouble in the 1st round but was obviously not able to end it. Then Silva being the fighter he was took advantage of Henderson on the ground and choked him out in the 2nd round. I Think the same possiblility exists for Chael Sonnen if he’s not careful, however I view Sonnen as being light years smarter than Dan Henderson for a variety of reasons.
Therefore, I will go out on a limb and predict a Chael Sonnen upset. I also like the odds against Sonnen and feel that a bet for him will reap great rewards. However, while I don’t think Sonnen will get tagged shooting in, he may very well end up in trouble on the ground if not extremely careful. He needs to stay tight while on the ground and not give Silva any room as he will most assuredly take advantage of it and tap out Sonnen
Final analysis: Sonnen by ground and pound.
I’ll also take a shot at predicting the rest of the action, but some of these fights are extremely difficult to call:
Fitch over Alves, strictly on intelligence. I like Fitch on the ground. He can be cautious and boring which does not make for excitement, just victories.
Guida over Rafaei Dos Anjos, this is an emotional bet who doesn’t love Guida? Seriously, over all I do think Guida will wear him down in his relentless pursuit of trying to keep his hair out of his eyes. No really Guida will win this one.
Almeida over Hughes, This is a direct bet over my heart and with my head. I’ve always been a big Hughes fan, but his time has past. His wins over Serra and Gracie, while impressive are not enough to show that he still has what it takes to beat a very big and exceptional BJJ guy like Almeida, who has defeated guys like Nate Marquardt. It’s not that Hughes is too old, it’s that he has not grown as an mma fighter.
Junior Dos Santos over Roy Nelson, but this could be closer than many think. The reason of course is that Nelson looks like the blob that ate Kansas City. But, in reality the guy has a skilled ground game and actually beat Frank Mir in a grappling match. He’s also got some seriously heavy hands. I’ll take Dos Santos however as I think he will be able to handle Nelson on his feet and that’s as far as it will go.
There you have it, I’m interested in reading other posters predictions and look forward to a really great UFC card on the 7th.