But few fights have ever split the MMA community as decidedly as Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II, and now fans and fighters alike have found themselves blindly throwing darts at the wall trying to figure out who will emerge victorious from UFC 148's championship rematch.
So, in the spirit of the summer holidays, Canada's Sportsnet and the UFC joined forces to bring Diaz and St. Pierre together to gauge their feelings on Saturday night's main event. And while the welterweight kingpins surprisingly agreed on the outcome, they weren't the only ones to weigh in with their take. Check out what they and a slew of other pros had to say after the jump:
Nick Diaz: "Chael Sonnen won that whole fight last time, and then he got that triangle slapped on him. So, I say, if he doesn't get submitted or knocked out in the fight, then he'll probably win the fight. Chael Sonnen. Yeah, five round fight. Or, who knows? Maybe he can actually work his way into a finish in there. ‘Cause, I don't think Anderson Silva was lookin' so hot in that fight. I don't think he was lookin' very good against Okami either, a long time ago. I think that Jake Shields would have won that fight, if he'd have gotten to fight Anderson Silva that night. And I think that would've put him in a whole different place in life. I think it's kind of too bad that never happened.
"But, I don't know, I kind of see Chael Sonnen winning this time around. You know, he really wants to go out there and do what he's supposed to do. I say he works on his posture and sits upright, doesn't get put into a triangle choke a little bit, you know? Especially in that last round. I think he could've afforded to let the guy up a little bit. Yeah. So... I think Chael Sonnen's great."
(You follow all of that?)
Georges St. Pierre: "The question is not if Chael Sonnen will beat Anderson Silva. I believe he's got the perfect style to do it. The only problem is his last fight with Michael Bisping. I saw, he was coming pretty straight, and if he does that with Anderson Silva, he will run into punches. So I think if he can move standing up and not getting hit, find a way to close the distance and bring the fight to the ground, I think he's got a very good chance to win."
Carlos Condit: "Anderson Silva. I think that Anderson probably learned a big lesson from their first fight, and will come back stronger."
Mark Bocek: "Anderson. I think because, I hate to say it, but I don't think Chael is going to be the same guy who fought Anderson the first time, and we saw that in the Bisping fight. If you know what I mean."
Mike Pierce: "Chael Sonnen for obvious reasons. He's already the champion. He has the belt. Did you see the belt? He has the belt."
Mayhem Miller: "I'm pretty sure that Chael Sonnen is going to get his head kicked off this time, and I am going to be there to catch it."
Cain Velasquez: "I picked Chael Sonnen. Just the way he dominated Silva last time."
Dominick Cruz: "Sonnen. Wrestling pedigree and I think he can stay out of a triangle this time."
Urijah Faber: "After watching the last fight, I'm gonna say Chael has the ability to upset, but Anderson Silva's the favorite."
Bigfoot Silva: "Anderson Silva. Always."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
UFC 148 odds. Despite Chael Sonnen's past success against Anderson Silva, the reigning UFC middleweight champion remains nearly a 3-to-1 favorite over the challenger.
Stann wants Bisping. UFC bruiser Brian Stann called out fellow middleweight contender Michael Bisping via Twitter, writing, "My shoulder will be ready, fans want it, we always deliver, lets do it."
Former champ Brown not retiring. Former WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown decided against retirement and inked a five-fight contract extension with the UFC. Brown announced the deal on his website.
The martial chronicles. On July 4, 1910, Jack Johnson squared off against James Jeffries in the 'Fight of the Century,' which quickly became a seminal moment in boxing history.
Nelson rumored to UFC. Undefeated 23 year-old welterweight mega-prospect Gunnar Nelson has reportedly agreed to terms to join the UFC.
Those rare moments when you find out the internet can still surprise you. I love those moments.
Remember when Anderson Silva did this? Would the internet implode if he did it again this Saturday?
No one can ever say Chael Sonnen isn't good at what he does.
STANN VS. BISPING?
@bisping my shoulder will be ready, fans want it, we always deliver, lets do it, funny on 4th of July we are talking about fighting!— Brian Stann (@BrianStann) July 4, 2012
DOS SANTOS VS. CAIN IN CHINA?
@danawhite maybe the heavyweight title would be a good debut for us in China. Right Dana?— juniorcigano (@junior_cigano) July 4, 2012
LAST SECOND STUDYING
Vinny Magalhaes (@VinnyMMA) July 5, 2012
Announced yesterday (Wednesday, July 4, 2012):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from SSReporters, who may freak some of you out with: Silva/Sonnen II and the Jones/Tarver II Potential Parallels
I think Anderson Silva is going to beat Chael Sonnen, but since Anderson is a fan of Roy Jones Jr. and essentially is MMA's Roy Jones Jr, I'm going to give you a bunch of stats to scare you into picking Chael Sonnen.
- Roy Jones' last loss prior to Tarver rematch: A disqualification for illegally punching a downed opponent (Montell Griffin), in a fight he was winning. Jones would avenge this loss, knocking Griffin out in a couple of minutes in the rematch.
- Anderson Silva's last loss: A disqualification for illegally upkicking a downed opponent (Yushin Okami), in a fight he was winning. Silva would avenge this loss, knocking Okami out with jabs.
- Roy's dominant run in boxing was at middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight.
- Anderson's dominant run in MMA is at middleweight with two wins at LHW against James Irvin and former champion Forrest Griffin.
- Roy's first fight with Antonio Tarver: A disputed majority decision win in Jones' favor, a fight that saw relative unknown Tarver gain fans in a losing effort by putting up a very good showing against Roy. The prevailing reason for Jones' performance was his drop in weight after defeating John Ruiz at heavyweight and then dropping to 175 (light heavyweight).
- Anderson's first fight with Chael Sonnen: A dramatic late submission victory over Sonnen, who spent the bulk of his career as a journeyman before rising to #1 contender, and literally the only person who has ever looked good against Anderson Silva in the UFC. In fact, he was well on his way to a dominant decision victory before he once again couldn't defend a triangle choke. The prevailing reason for Silva's poor performance, which included getting staggered by a Chael Sonnen punch, was a rib injury.More after the jump.
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.