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Betting Odds and Analysis
Silva vs. Sonnen
International Fight Week has hit Las Vegas and will be capped by UFC 148 on Saturday with middleweight champion Anderson Silva squaring off with Chael Sonnen for the second time in what could go down as the biggest fight in MMA history. Sonnen (27-11-1) nearly beat Silva (31-4) at UFC 117, dominating the first four rounds before the champ pulled off a triangle armbar submission midway through the fifth to secure the win and defend his title for the seventh time.
Silva has not lost a fight in more than six years since he was disqualified for an illegal kick against Yushin Okami on January 20, 2006. He is a perfect 14-0 in the UFC and has won 15 in a row dating back to April 22, 2006 when he defended his Cage Rage middleweight championship with a win over Tony Fryklund. Since beating Sonnen in the first meeting, Silva has won twice more to extend his record for title defenses to nine, knocking out Vitor Belfort in the first round at UFC 126 with a vicious front kick and avenging his DQ loss to Okami by scoring a second-round TKO at UFC 134.
Sonnen has also fought twice since the first matchup with Silva, defeating Brian Stann by arm-triangle choke submission at UFC 136 and edging out Michael Bisping via unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 2 back on January 28. He also had some issues to deal with outside the Octagon, getting suspended one year by the California State Athletic Commission for an extremely high testosterone level after fighting Silva and later pleading guilty to money laundering charges in connection with mortgage fraud.
Silva was relatively quiet before fighting Sonnen the first time, but he held nothing back in the press conference leading up to their rematch, saying he will make sure his opponent does not leave the Octagon without assistance. In fact, that might be an understatement for anybody who has heard the recent buildup between the two fighters, as they also nearly came to blows at another appearance earlier this week. Silva is a big -300 favorite to beat Sonnen, who is a +250 underdog. However, Silva closed as a massive -475 favorite in the first meeting compared to +350 for Sonnen.
Other fights on the main card include Forrest Griffin (-330) against Tito Ortiz (+270), Patrick Cote (-240) against Cung Le (+200), Dong Hyun Kim (-150) against Demian Maia (+130), Chad Mendes (-600) against Cody McKenzie (+450) and Mike Easton (-125) against Ivan Menjivar (+105). This will the last career appearance inside the Octagon for former light heavyweight champion Ortiz, who is being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and faces another former champ in Griffin as they meet for the third time.
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