If all goes as planned, UFC fans should gear up for an upcoming light heavyweight bout between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. Sonnen’s been making fun of and talking smack about Silva for years but the fight never truly made sense until now because Sonnen was too busy feuding with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Now, though, it makes all the sense in the world, and it’s such a big fight that UFC president Dana White is likely to use as the main event of the upcoming UFC on FOX Sports 1 card in Boston, MA. White promised he’d bring a big card back to Beantown, and Sonnen vs. Silva is the biggest fight available outside of title fights. Even if you don’t like him, you have to admit that Sonnen does a good job of selling pay-per-views. Yes, he’s not the most technically-skilled fighter in the world but he is very aggressive in the cage and he has the best mic skills of any mixed martial artist out there right now — and perhaps in the history of the sport. He knows how to sell fights and to get people talking about fights, and that’s why White loves him. That’s why he keeps getting title shots and main event slots coming off of losses, and that’s why he makes the big bucks. As for Silva, he’s easily one of the most popular fighters in the UFC. Sure, he’s getting up there in age and isn’t the fighter he once was, but he’s still extremely dangerous as he showed in his fight against Brian Stann at UFC on FUEL TV 9 and he knows how to get the fans excited. When you pair him up with Sonnen, you have the makings of one of the biggest fights of the year, and the best part about it is that we’ll likely get to watch it for free. From a stylistic point of view, this is a very interesting fight. In Sonnen, you have one of the best grinding wrestlers in the sport and one of the most difficult fighters to fight on the ground if you don’t have submission skills, because while he does have a smothering top game he doesn’t have any submission defence to speak of. And his standup — while aggressive — is weak. As for Silva, you have one of the most ferocious strikers in the UFC but a fighter who has relatively little wrestling to speak of, although he does have a BJJ black belt as a safety net. If the fight stays standing, Silva has a huge advantage, but if it goes to the ground Sonnen should be in the driver’s seat although Silva could always shock us with his first submission win in 13 years (his only other two sub wins, by the way, came via punches). From a betting perspective, this is an especially intriguing matchup that will present a good opportunity for a wager. Sonnen is likely to open as a solid favorite, probably in the vicinity of -250, while Silva will likely be around +200. Even though Sonnen is coming off a TKO loss to Jones and Silva a KO win over Stann, the public historically seems to really like Sonnen and not like Silva that much so the opening odds are likely to reflect that. But as far as the “true odds” go, I’d peg this fight closer to -180 for Sonnen and +150 for Silva. So, if you get where I’m going, I do believe there is a bet to be made on Silva should his line be around +200. And vice versa, if Sonnen is priced at under -200, then maybe the bet is on him. It’s an interesting fight, for sure, and hopefully it gets officially booked soon so that the real opening odds come out and we actually get to really start dissecting the bout in full detail here on MMA Oddsbreaker.
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