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10 Reasons Chael Sonnen Will Beat Anderson Silva in Brazil
Photo by Esther Lin for AOL Fanhouse
At UFC 117, former NCAA All-American Chael Sonnen nearly shocked the world. Middleweight champion Anderson Silva was considered by many to be nigh unbeatable. Silva moved with a panther's grace and struck like a cobra. Few, if any, in MMA history can match his record, skill set or martial prowess.
That's what made Sonnen's four-round dismantling of the champion so remarkable. It was unprecedented. Only a brilliant last-minute submission saved Silva's title and perfect UFC record.
Now the two men are set to meet again. And this time, Sonnen will walk away with the world championship. Why? I've got 10 reasons Chael will be the next UFC middleweight champion.
In the UFC's 19-year history, exactly half of their 46 world champions have come from a wrestling background or made wrestling the focal point of their attack.
The odds are in Sonnen's favor, although the middleweight class is the one weight class devoid of a wrestling kingpin.
Wrestlers dictate where the fight will take place. And no one in the sport does it better than Chael Sonnen.
Can you imagine what it must be like to be Anderson Silva? Chael Sonnen has been yapping in his ear for years now.
The trash talk is designed to take Silva off his game. If he's angry, or worried about avenging Chael's increasingly inflammatory talk, he's not concentrating on winning.
Although they've mostly gone their separate ways, Chael grew up in the sport with a who's who of UFC and wrestling talent.
Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland was his mentor. He watched and trained with legends like Randy Couture and Dan Henderson daily.
Oregon's Team Quest will go down as one of the all-time great fight teams. A Chael title run will simply add to their legacy.
Sonnen's head coach, Scott McQuary, tells Bleacher Report that Chael will soon be making the most of his advantageous positions on the ground:
"We just needed to tweak a few things," McQuary said. "I told him, 'We need to work on your defense and I want to work on just a couple of submissions.' It's worked really well. We have a number of things in the bag that we haven't even let out yet. The Brian Stann fight, we were so glad he got that submission we'd been working on.
"But trust me—he's got a bunch of stuff he hasn't even showcased yet. I looked at the positions he was most frequently in. A lot of times he was trying to ground-and-pound people with fairly good success. But I told him, 'We can make this a lot easier. Let's work for a submission.' He's so damn good at keeping his position or transitioning to a new position if things go awry, it was kind of a no-brainer."
Traditionally, Sonnen's Achilles heel is his submission defense. He just can't seem to escape the triangle or armbar.
Who better to mentor him than Strikeforce women's champion, and armbar savant, Ronda Rousey?