When two high-level fighters rematch, who has the responsibility to anticipate changes in their opponents tactics and techniques to ensure victory the second time around? According to former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, it's typically the winner of the first fight. Obviously the complexion of the first fight can change that balance, but the logic is this: the winner already knew what it took to win the first time. They dug a path to victory. They know the loser of the first bout is going to change, but how? Yet, in Couture's mind, Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva have the roles backwards ahead of their rematch at UFC 148.
"It's kind of odd," Couture told MMA Fighting at his Xtreme Couture facility recently in Las Vegas, Nevada. "Normally I would say that the onus is on the guy who won the first fight to anticipate the changes the loser is going to make and get the same outcome."
"If you look at Anderson and Chael, Anderson won by triangle choke with two minutes left. He didn't really win the fight. He got his ass whooped - literally - for four-plus rounds," Couture continued, "but it's almost like he was the guy that won. He wants it to go the same minus the triangle."
Watch the video below as Couture explains his reasoning in depth, talks about the trajectory of Sonnen's career, why the Nate Marquardt fight was a turning point for the Oregonian, why Sonnen might have the best takedowns in mixed martial arts and much more.