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Posted on July 2, 2012 by Jack Thurman
Chael Sonnen has been trying to secure a rematch against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for quite some time and on Saturday July 7th he’ll finally get his wish. Sonnen and Silva will face off in the UFC 148 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Silva narrowly escaped with his title in the first meeting between the two men. Sonnen dominated the fight throughout only to fall victim to a ‘hail Mary’ triangle choke submission late in the final round. Since then, the UFC has put up countless roadblocks in Sonnen’s way trying to get a rematch forcing him to fight second rate contenders like Brian Stann and Michael Bisping rather than give him the obvious immediate rematch he deserved.
Initially, the UFC tried to make things harder on Sonnen by holding the event in Silva’s home country of Brazil. The much ballyhooed fight didn’t have the marquee value in Brazil that the promotion hoped (their excuse–a proper venue couldn’t be found, a bit of a stretch in a country set to host the Summer Olympic games in the next few years) and was relocated to Las Vegas. The UFC is hoping that the fight will sell in the US–they charged ridiculously high prices for the event and added insult to injury with a pitifully weak undercard.
Silva vs. Sonnen may be one of the few marketable fights the UFC has available right now, but it still seems like their sights are set a bit too high. Dana White–who has a tenuous grasp of reality at best–asserted that the event will do numbers similar to UFC 100 which did around 1.6 million PPV buys. The UFC’s overall popularity has slipped dramatically since then and the mainstream media has likewise cooled on the sport. Objectively speaking, the show will be a huge success if it breaks the 1 million mark. A more likely target is 750,000 buys.
In the rematch Anderson Silva is priced as a -270 UFC betting favorite. Takeback on Sonnen is +230. The Over/Under round prop is priced at 2′ with the OV -140 and the UN +110. Many sportsbooks both in Nevada and offshore will release prop bets on the fight later in the week. The semifinal match could be billed as an ‘old timers’ contest between a couple of shopworn competitors as Tito Ortiz tangles with Forrest Griffin. Griffin is a -320 favorite with takeback on ‘The Huntington Beach Badboy’ at +260.