Fair points that he does spend the vast bulk of his fight time on the mat, but I've seen him trade in nearly every fight he's been in and I've never seen him brutally tooled. (Recent loss aside, that knee to the body against the cage took his soul before Anderson then proceeded to rip what was left to shreds) Thats about as much proof as I need to decide I think his stand up skills are at least average, definitely not poor.
I'll take that you think his striking looks goofy and awkward but I think this about a lot of MMA fighters to be honest. Wanderlei Silva's striking technique is for the most part very incorrect technically speaking (wild swings and arm punches), Shane Carwin and Dan Henderson's boxing isn't the easiest on the eyes either, Fedor was as flat-footed as they come and overcommited to a lot of his power strikes. But I've always thought of MMA striking as boiling down to effectiveness as part of the fighter's game on the whole rather than technically correct boxing or kickboxing technique.
I've never been particularly impressed with anything Chael did on the feet, apart from the first Anderson fight of course, but I just don't think it's justified to call him a bad striker. He's certainly nowhere close to Shinya Aoki-like levels of ineptitude. As far as the spinning back fist and fighter IQ - it was the slip that led to his downfall, not the backfist. If Silva had countered the backfist and left Chael laying I'd completely agree with you, but he didn't. Spinning back fists don't land as often as other strikes, but it's not like the amount of times a guy slips throwing one is massive in comparison to other strikes.
That is true, however he also beat Sobral by UD in their first meeting. If I recall Chael also was quite young and weighed something like 196 pounds or similiar in that fight, he's a great deal more thickly muscled nowadays. However, I do expect Forrest to look absolutely enormous by comparison on fight night.
Yes indeed, I see what you mean. There are worse strikers out there for sure.
It will be interesting to see what happens when a decent striker stops Chaels takedowns & forces him to stand.
I mean with Silva there really was no doubt in my mind that he would have tooled Sonnen sooner or later, had he been able to continue to stop the takedown.
I wonder what happens with a guy like Forrest, who is well I dunno good at striking? atleast when he's awake fighting, not bored zombie, run away and cry Forrest.
Anyway I see your points & pretty much agree. He's not a disaster standing, IMO he's mediocre from what we have seen, and it's pretty hard to know since it ends up on the floor pretty fast most of the times.
Oh BTW I doubt Forrest will stop the takedown anyway so, I'm predicting 3 rounds of smothering from Sonnen.