The bout many are calling the biggest rematch in MMA history will take place Saturday night, as Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen meet for the UFC middleweight title. UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II goes down on pay-per-view from Las Vegas beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
As always, FightLine will be providing you complete, play-by-play results of the entire card beginning with the prelims at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin
Jack: These are a pair of legends who have seen brighter days but based on their previous bouts, it should be a close one. The question here is whether or not Ortiz can get the takedown and work the vicious ground and pound he is known for. Based on Griffin’s better footwork and speed, I see him sticking and moving, making sure he circles away from every one of Ortiz’s shots which are often not setup by strikes. In a gritty, drag ’em out brawl, I see Griffin edging the decision with the well timed boxing and heart that made him a star. Griffin via unanimous decision.
Raj: While an Ortiz victory would be the perfect way to cap off a legendary career, I don’t see it happening. I see the fight playing out how Griffin recently described, with Ortiz coming out of the gate like a hurricane. I see Griffin taking his time and being patient, before taking over the fight and finishing it in the third via submission. Griffin via third round submission.
Dana: Both of the previous two meetings between these ex-UFC light heavyweight champions went the distance, but I don’t see that happening this time around. I’m kind of torn on who finishes, who, however. If it ends early, I see Ortiz being the victor. But, a late second or early third round stoppage makes me believe it will be Griffin. So, I’ll go with the sentimental pick in this co-main event. Ortiz via second round submission.
UFC middleweight championship: Anderson Silva (C) vs. Chael Sonnen
Jack: Most are expecting Silva to knock out Sonnen with ninja-like precision. He has worked on his takedown defense and will be returning healthy after suffering from a rib injury in their prior fight. Yet, I don’t think you can count out Sonnen. He looked impressive last time out and was able to hurt Silva on the feet and land takedown after takedown. No one has pressured Silva like that and I see him doing it again. Wrestling is the Silva’s kryptonite. Sonnen via unanimous decision.
Raj: This is such a fascinating fight with so many questions. How bad did Anderson Silva’s rib injury affect his performance in their first fight? Did Silva take Sonnen too lightly the first time around, and will he be more prepared to deal with Sonnen’s takedowns? It’s such a tough call, and it comes down to how Silva will handle Sonnen’s takedowns. I’m not totally confident with my prediction, but I think Sonnen will be able to keep this fight on the ground and keep it there for the duration of the fight. Sonnen via unanimous decision.
Dana: Part of me wants to agree with Jack and Raj, especially after watching Silva-Sonnen I again recently. However, I like to believe that if you upset someone to the point Sonnen has of Silva, well, you might have made a mistake. I’m feeling like this is a case of the old saying, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit in the wind.” Well, you can add a third: “You don’t make a Spider angry.” Silva is the best fighter of his generation, and he’s going to prove that against Sonnen. Silva via first round knockout.