Early Thoughts on Chael Sonnen vs Wanderlei Silva for TUF Brazil 3

Wanderlei SilvaThe coaches for season three of the Ultimate Fighter Brazil reality series appear to be set, with Wanderlei Silva coaching opposite Chael Sonnen. This will give ample stage for the rivalry between the two to gel in front of a large audience, then the two can meet in a main event early next year. Now that will be a hard match to set the odds for, as any rivalry where there is bad blood usually is. Sonnen will be going to Brazil to film, coach and live for 6-8 weeks. This is a smart move by the UFC, as Sonnen is over-saturated in the US media and people are beginning to lose interest. But somewhere along the line, Sonnen managed to insult the entire country of Brazil, and that will make this a very big deal on the ground there come air time. Sonnen is going to have to be a little more contrived and planned for his Brazil reality show debut, as there are really a few things he is going to need to do. He has to keep the rivalry with Wanderlei going, but he probably needs to leave the country out of it. He will also at some point want to earn legitimacy by being serious about coaching. He is going to be scrutinized heavily in terms of fighting by the public and other fighters, and he will say it does not bother him, but inside, Chael Sonnen would like nothing more than to leave Brazil with the entire country begrudgingly saying ‘he is good’. It means respect, and Sonnen wants that. Silva is a very intense athlete, and from his start in the sport back in the 1990’s he has been a guy who looks to make a fight personal, it seems to give it more meaning and emotion to Silva. Well, Sonnen already gave that to Silva in spades. Silva has all the insults of his country, then the personal insults and then the humiliating loss by his teammate to Sonnen to motivate him, and you can bet that everyone around him will keep him at a high state of agitation. Come fight time, the crowd will likely be 100 percent on Silva’s side (assuming the fight is in Brazil). In the ring, Sonnen is going to have to be smart, but he should be favored in the match. Silva has a tendency to be overly aggressive, and he moves in straight lines. He is pretty wide open to hit with his stance, and despite a black belt in BJJ, Silva is not much on the ground. For Sonnen, he should get credit for wanting and taking on the hard jobs. He is mentally tough and prepared for almost anything. You get the impression Silva has been on Sonnen’s bucket list for a long time. Silva has had a few good matches in the UFC, but overall his record has been unimpressive (as Sonnen has said) and it is clear that Silva is well past his prime. Silva will still be hunting a KO, but Sonnen has displayed a more well-rounded game and with his wrestling base, he will look to keep the fight where he wants it. The most interesting part of the fight will be in the stand-up clinch, as you get a Greco Roman clinch in Sonnen versus a Muay Thai clinch in Silva that could decide the fight.

Written by Miguel

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