One of the most anticipated and demanded rematches in the history of The Ultimate Fighting Championship has to be part two of the middleweight battle between reigning pound-for-pound champion, (29-4-0) Anderson “The Spider” Silva and undisputed mouth-for-mouth king, (27-11-1) Chael Sonnen!
In fact, we’ve been waiting to see the Silva-Sonnen rematch since the Brazilian locked in that triangle/arm-bar with 3:10 remaining in the fifth round at UFC 117 in August 7th 2010. It’s hard to believe it has been almost 15 months since that eventful night in which Sonnen humanized the greatest fighter on the planet and almost took his belt.
For 22 minutes, the former wrestling All-American/two-time University Greco national champion punished Silva like we never thought possible. With crisp standup — rocking the champ around the cage on several occasions — an innumerous amount of takedowns (single-leg, double-leg, you name it!), and relentless ground-and-pound, Sonnen made a very strong case that he was the better fighter that night.
Sonnen dominated every second of every round, as Silva looked absolutely helpless against this guy. The American beat the Brazilian at his own game with combinations of kicks and punches, that put Silva on his wallet on more than one instance. And just when Silva thought about getting his standup going, here came Sonnen’s takedowns and the indefatigable GnP that has characterized him.
That was pretty much the story of the entire fight, in a nutshell. But like most standout wrestlers, Sonnen has had a weakness for being submitted throughout his MMA career. So, in the final stanza, while pounding on the champ from (top-position) inside his guard — just three minutes away from dethroning the greatest MMA fighter that’s ever lived — Silva shrimped, locked in a triangle-choke (while isolating a limb for a counter-arm-bar), squeezed as hard as he could with his legs wrapped around his opponent’s head, and forced Sonnen to tap before going to sleep.
“In some parallel universe you can hit a man three hundred times, he wraps his legs around your head for 8 seconds and they call HIM the winner,” Sonnen said during his UFC 136 post-fight press conference. “I am the middleweight champion. I defended my championship tonight for the first time tonight and I am willing… to give Anderson a shot at the true belt, the linear belt, the people’s belt from the best damn middleweight there’s ever been”
Those comments came after Sonnen’s latest victory, when he absolutely demolished top middleweight, Brian Stann at UFC 136 last September, before chocking him out with an arm-triangle. With The Spider watching it all happen from his cageside seat, the ever outspoken Sonnen made very clear was his intentions are going forward. In front of the world, Sonnen challenged Silva to a fight with very high stakes:
“Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck! Super Bowl weekend: the biggest rematch in the history of the business,” Sonnen said hinting at a potential rematch with the Brazilian in early 2012. “I’m calling you out Silva but we’re upping the stakes: I beat you, you leave the division! You beat me, and I will leave the UFC forever!”
At first, it sounded a little crazy to everyone, especially considering Sonnen’s PED trouble and subsequent back-and-forth with the California State Athletic Commission. This included UFC president Dana White, who denied the whole thing when first asked about the possibility of what Sonnen suggested. However, it seems like the more White thought about it, the more what this nutcase was suggesting made sense to him.
A few days later, this once insane “Silva vs Sonnen Rematch on Super Bowl Saturday” idea didn’t seem so far-fetched anymore — assuming Silva should be fully recovered from a shoulder injury he presently nurses, of course. The date would be Saturday, February 4th 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on what I anticipate and calculate as being: UFC 143: SILVA vs SONNEN 2!!!
Dana White seems to dig it, as he appeared to be already in full promotional mode in his latest quote:
“If that happens Super Bowl weekend, Super Bowl is in Vegas,” White said with a huge smile and dollar signs replacing his eyes. “Super Bowl in Vegas — for people that have never gone — it’s awesome. Super Bowl in Vegas is awesome.”