When Chael Sonnen challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title on August 7, 2010 at UFC 117, he started the fight as a 4-1 underdog. He is the underdog once again for Saturday’s eagerly-awaited UFC 148 rematch, but the odds this time are significantly closer due to Sonnen’s incredible success in the first fight.
Chael Sonnen said:
“To say this guy is superior to me is a joke. Look at the statistics from the first fight. I out-landed him by over 200 punches, I took him down at will, I passed his guard at will and I beat him on the feet too.”
Sonnen’s boasts are supported by hard data. According to FightMetric, the challenger landed 252 more strikes than Silva, with a total of 320 punches, kicks, elbows and knees finding the mark; Sonnen completed three takedowns in the fight, and kept Silva on his back for a combined 20 minutes of the fight – twice as much as “The Spider” had been on his back in his entire UFC career; Sonnen passed Silva’s guard into side-control six times and swept him as well; Sonnen also out-struck Silva during the three minutes the fight was contested standing up.
However, the champion said the only statistic that really counts is who won the fight.
Anderson Silva said:
“He took me down, he is good at wrestling. Okay. Good. But I punch him in the face ‘BAP! BAP! BAP! BOOM!’ and that is it. I win. That’s it. No different from the first fight on Saturday. I win!”