UPDATED ODDS (July 5, 12:30 p.m. ET): Anderson Silva -300, Chael Sonnen +250.
In what is being hyped as perhaps the biggest fight in MMA history, UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva will meet Chael Sonnen in the main event at UFC 148 this Saturday. Silva-Sonnen II highlights six main card bouts that will be televised live on Pay-Per-View from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas starting at 10:00 p.m. (ET).
The usually brash, trash-talking Sonnen (27-11-1) nearly beat Silva (31-4) in the first meeting at UFC 117 and has not needed to hype the rematch much due to the fact that “The Spider” has taken over that role this time around. On a recent UFC conference call to promote the fight, Silva vowed to break Sonnen in a variety of ways so that he will not be able to leave the Octagon on his own.
While millions of MMA fans will need to wait until Saturday to watch the final outcome, Sonnen will have his hands full with the most dominant fighter in UFC history. He will be facing a much more determined Silva who looks to be extremely confident despite opening as a much smaller favorite at -250 compared to closing at -475 in the first bout between them.
Silva is a perfect 14-0 in the UFC, already setting records for both the longest winning streak and most title defenses (nine) in the organization all-time. His most recent appearance came at UFC 134 last August in Brazil when Silva scored a 2nd-round TKO against Yushin Okami.
Sonnen won the first four rounds of the last meeting before getting caught by a stunning triangle armbar submission in Round 5 to end the fight. He was +350 in that previous matchup and opened at +210 for the rematch after winning two straight since then against Brian Stann and Michael Bisping. The latest lines on the Don Best odds screen have Silva as high as -275 and Sonnen at +235.
The other big bout on the main card features a pair of legendary light heavyweights as Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz meets Forrest Griffin for the third and final time.
Ortiz (16-10-1) will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame before the fight, which will be the last one of his illustrious career that saw him win the UFC light heavyweight championship back at UFC 25 in 2000 and defend the title five times before losing to fellow Hall of Famer Randy Couture three years later at UFC 44.
He is 1-6-1 in his last eight bouts, including consecutive losses to Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via TKO.
Griffin (18-7) also beat Ortiz during that stretch with a split decision victory at UFC 106 that atoned for a split decision loss at UFC 59 in the first meeting. The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner is coming off a first-round knockout loss against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 134 last August 27 that halted his personal two-fight winning streak, but he opened as a solid -300 favorite against Ortiz (+250).
MMA bettors have put their money on Griffin so far, moving him as high as -330 compared to +260 for Ortiz.