UFC 148’s main event is the Rocky II of MMA – an overhyped and slightly ridiculous rematch between Brazilian middleweight champ Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) and all-American underdog Chael Sonnen (@sonnench). UFC 148 is also the most anticipated fight of the year – partly because Silva, like Apollo Creed, barely escaped his first encounter with the championship belt, and partly due to the constant Twitter-powered trash talking between the two fighters. While the fight is scheduled for five five-minute rounds, few are expecting it to go the distance. Fewer still are expecting a repeat of the pair’s first meeting – but then again, nobody expected that near-upset the first time, least of all Silva, who was made to look all too vulnerable against an abusive and aggressive Sonnen, who hit Silva more times than he’d been hit in all his previous UFC fights combined.
Silva is undefeated in his UFC career, makes even the best fighters look like amateurs and is universally considered the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet. He evokes both Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali, while remaining singularly, inimitably himself. Sonnen, meanwhile, is a journeyman fighter who’s learned a thing or two about self-promotion by watching pro wrestling. He even proclaimed himself the middleweight champ and carried around a fake belt, reasoning that he beat Silva for four-and-a-half rounds in their first fight, which surely must outweigh the few seconds it took for Silva to slap on a triangle armbar and tap Sonnen out. Needless to say, it’s “put up or shut up” time for both fighters.
As for rest of the card, the biggest fight will be a battle between two former champs. Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin will square off in the rubber match of their light heavyweight trilogy. Each owns a split-decision win and Ortiz, who was hated almost as much as Sonnen in his heyday, has promised to retire after the fight, regardless of the outcome.
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