MMA veteran Chael Sonnen was literally minutes away from being immortalized as the man that dethroned the great Anderson "The Spider" Silva, but his poor submission defense eventually caught up to him. Sonnen ended up getting trapped in the Spider's web in the fifth round of their UFC 117 encounter, submitting to an armbar-triangle combo.
Sonnen will finally get his second shot at Silva on July 7, and the MMA gods seem to be on his side. First, the bout was relocated from Brazil to Las Vegas, giving the Portland native home-Octagon advantage in the fight. Sonnen has also been cleared to undergo testosterone replacement therapy heading into his UFC 148 showdown against Silva.
According to Sonnen's teammate, Vinny Magalhães (a highly decorated BJJ black belt), the UFC's best trash-talker has also made some major leaps in his BJJ game. Magalhães thinks Sonnen has improved to the point that he might even submit Silva when the two meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
"Chael makes fun of a lot of things," Magalhães said during a recent interview. "But he picks stuff up really fast. And the stuff that we worked on, I can guarantee you if he has the chance to use it in the fight, he will do it. If it's a submission, if it's a guard pass, whatever, I guarantee you he can do it. If he gets the chance, he can catch Anderson with something."
While anything is possible in MMA, Sonnen's chances of submitting Silva are pretty slim. Many in the MMA community seem to underestimate Silva's BJJ - probably because of how proficient he is on his feet. In reality, Silva's BJJ is as legit as it gets, with submission victories against top notch grapplers like Travis Lutter and Dan Henderson.
Without a doubt, Silva vs. Sonnen II will be a lot more competitive than many initially thought - given the way things have gone down. But I don't think they'll spend as much time on the canvas this time around. Silva wasn't really determined to keep the fight standing in the first encounter between the two, instead electing to work from his guard. Having already proved that he's capable of submitting Sonnen, I don't think he'll be as stubborn this time around, and I expect Silva to keep the fight standing at UFC 148.
Fightlinker.com, "Vinny Magalhaes talks about helping Chael Sonnen out"
Fight and fighter information from Sherdog.com
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