Chael Sonnen came within seconds of being crowned the first UFC middleweight champion not named Anderson Silva in over four years at UFC 117.
For the better part of twenty-five minutes Sonnen did exactly what he said he would do but he let his guard down a moment too long and the Brazilian threw his legs in the air securing a textbook triangle armbar to retain his crown.
A money laundering conviction, a positive test for testosterone and two fights later he finally gets his chance at redemption and he isn’t going to make the same mistake.
As the top-ranked middleweight contender prepares to walk into enemy territory in front of a partisan crowd in Rio de Janero, Brazil on June 23 he has an ace up his sleeve bringing in Vinny Magalhaes.
Magalhaes tweeted this earlier:
Magalhaes was considered to be the breakout star of the eighth installment of The Ultimate Fighter but Ryan Bader stole his thunder with a first-round knockout, another loss to Elliot Marshall later and he was exiled from the elite MMA organization.
In his three years away from the Zuffa umbrella he has finished seven opponents, five of them by submission.
But his real strength outside of the cage is his submission grappling — A fifteen time medalist in jiu-jitsu he capped off his impressive grappling resume winning a gold medal at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission championships.
While a UFC title is the highest level of achievement in the UFC and a K-1 World Grand Prix championship is the highest for kickboxing an ADCC championship is the peak in submission grappling, making him the best grappler in the world at 99 kilograms right now.
Submission defense might he the only chink in the armor of the gangsta from America and working with Magalhaes will be a giant leap in the right direction to plugging that hole.
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