Welcome all, to the first edition of our new series ?B/R Roundtable Discussion?. For this trial run Bryan Levick and I will be discussing two bouts from UFC 109.
Our master plan is to develop the idea and add other writers into the mix getting a good cross-section of opinions from the B/R MMA community.
Please give us your feedback on the style and what you would like to see next time out.
First topic on the board is the middleweight showdown between Nate ?The Great? Marquardt and Chael Sonnen.
Bryan Levick: This middleweight contest shouldn?t be too hard to decipher. Marquardt is simply better than Sonnen in every aspect of the game. While he may not have the wrestling background that Sonnen does, Marquardt is just as good a grappler if not better.
Sonnen?s striking is rudimentary at best and he is always susceptible to the submission. You think that he would have learned by now to not put himself in positions where he is open for a submission.
As if facing Marquardt isn?t enough, Sonnen ran his mouth, criticizing Anderson Silva. Worry about the challenge at hand buddy.
Robert Gardner: While I tend to agree with everything you are saying, Sonnen is a grinder and because of his wrestling pedigree he has the ability to dictate where the fight takes place and can control the action.
Yes, Sonnen has shown that he is susceptible to being caught in a submission, but as long as he can eliminate the distance and space and the ground he should be able to stay out of trouble.
Don?t be fooled by his criticizing of Silva. In my communication with Sonnen he was focused and ready for the toughest fight of his career against Marquardt. Sonnen is just a guy that calls it like he sees it and is not afraid of what other people think.
Bryan Levick: I too have spoken with Sonnen and he seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but focusing on anything other than his opponent is ludicrous. Marquardt is the second best middleweight in the UFC, and he is a much better fighter than he was when he faced Silva in 2007.
Sonnen tends to lose his focus as evidenced by his second fight with Paulo Filho. After nearly having his arm torn off in their first bout, Sonnen almost made the same mistake by being lured into Filho?s guard. You could even hear his corner yelling at him to stay off the ground.
Marquardt?s striking is light years ahead of Sonnen?s as are his submissions. On top of that, Sonnen hasn?t finished a fight in over two years; his recent wins have been ?grind it out? victories over Dan Miller and Yushin Okami.
Marquardt is crushing anyone who is unfortunate enough to get in his way. He is just more powerful, faster and stronger than Sonnen. He is also, one of the more focused fighters in the UFC today. Even Silva thinks that Marquardt will be the one to take his title eventually.
Sonnen just doesn?t do it for me. He?s a good fighter but he is getting in way over his head.
Robert Gardner: I wouldn?t go so far to say that Sonnen is not focusing on the task at hand, but it is a bit crazy to call out arguably the best fighter in the world right now.
Sonnen is going to have to fight a perfect fight and dictate the action to Marquardt if he is going to win. Marquardt is far and away the superior fighter on paper, but they fight the fights for a reason.
The biggest thing Sonnen has going for him right now is that he has nothing to lose. Guys like that are always dangerous.
That said, I still think that Marquardt has more ways to win and should be victorious come Saturday.
Bryan Levick: So we are in agreement that Marquardt has more to lose and that Sonnen doesn?t have much of a chance. But as you said, a desperate fighter makes for a dangerous fighter.
I am calling for a second round TKO by Marquardt via knees and punches.
Robert Gardner: Agreed that Marquardt has far more to lose here. As much as I want to pick the upset here because Sonnen has the style to do it, I just can?t. Marquardt is too vicious right now and I think he is the second best fighter in the division for the UFC by a long shot.
I say Marquardt by first round TKO.
Once again, please let us know what you think of the style. Your thoughts and input will help us to create a more enjoyable format for everyone, and if you are interested in participating in the future let us know in the comment sections.