Silva vs. Sonnen

The main event of Saturday’s UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen pay per-view is a battle for the UFC Middleweight Championship as champion Anderson Silva faces challenge Chael Sonnen.

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Silva enters the fight as the clear favorite with a betting line of -450 with Sonnen given a line of +325 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from Oracle Arena in Oakland, California at 10PM ET on Pay Per-View.
Anderson Silva (26-4):
Strengths
: Silva is one of the top fighters in the world in any weight class, and when he is on his game, he can beat anyone. His hand speed and ability to avoid contact is hard to prepare for and they also allow him to possess great strength in his strikes due to his quickness. Silva is also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but he hasn’t had to use that much in his UFC career because he performs so well on his feet.
Weaknesses: Silva has had some issues with motivation as in his last fight against Demian Maia, Silva seemed to stop fighting in the later rounds and was overwhelmingly booed by the fans in attendance. Three of his last four fights have seen Silva seem to be disinterested in fighting and UFC President Dana White has said he won’t tolerate his antics any more if he does it again. Silva has also had some issues with takedown defense in his career, as he has been taken to the ground by lesser opponents than Sonnen.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous Decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 112 on April 10, 2010

First round KO win over Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 on Aug. 8, 2009

Unanimous Decision win over Thales Leites at UFC 97 on April 18, 2009

Third round TKO win over Patrick Cote at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008

First round KO win over James Irvin at Ultimate Fight Night 14 on July 19, 2008
 
Chael Sonnen (26-10-1):
Strengths: Sonnen is a tough wrestler that always keeps coming at his opponents. His relentless pressure and pace allowed him to pick up two big wins over Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami. The win over Marquardt was a big upset, but pushed Sonnen into the title picture. Sonnen suffered a lot of damage in that fight but never stopped coming forward and he may be the toughest fighter in the UFC.
Weaknesses: Sonnen is tough but he has trouble finishing opponents and he leaves himself open to submissions. His last loss was a quick submission loss to Maia at UFC 95, but since then he has turned things around. Still, if he is able to get Silva to the ground, he will have to defend well in Silva’s guard and not get caught with a triangle choke.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Nate Marquardt at UFC 109 on Feb. 6, 2010

Unanimous decision win over Yushin Okami at UFC 104 on Oct. 24, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Dan Miller at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009

First round submission loss to Demian Maia at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Paulo Filho at WEC 36 on Nov. 5, 2008


Who will win: Sonnen has done plenty of talking coming into this fight so Silva shouldn’t have an issue with motivation. But, this matchup isn’t the best for Silva. He has showed weakness against wrestlers, losing a round to Dan Henderson back at UFC 82. While Sonnen may be able to come out and be successful early, look for Silva to land a big strike or catch Sonnen in a submission in the middle rounds. Sonnen is tough, but he still has too many weaknesses to become the middleweight champion.
Bet UFC 117
Posted: 8/5/10 1:51PM ET

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