Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen had the improbable task of living up to two years of hype in 25 minutes at UFC 148. Remarkably they did just that in close to 7 minutes of intense action which saw a costly mistake result in a victory for Anderson “The Spider” Silva.
The first round started off where the fifth round left off of their UFC 117 fight. Silva came out looking to stand and Sonnen took him right down. Unlike their first fight, Sonnen was held at bay on the ground by Silva. Silva held Sonnen in the half-guard for the majority of the round, locking up Sonnen’s leg, preventing him from advancing or teeing off. Sonnen eventually got free and got a full mount on the champion in the final minute. Sonnen controlled the action as the round ended. It appeared that this was Sonnen’s fight to lose going into Round 2…or so I thought.
Silva’s children rushed into the cage once the fight was over. You could really see how emotional this win was to Anderson and his family watching his children cry as they hugged their father after the fight. It was a great moment and a human moment for a guy that has been more mythical than real in many fan’s eyes.
The post fight was something unexpected. Silva made a remark about he and Sonnen giving fans a show. That was real interesting because I had been tweeting the last few days about how I felt Silva was playing things up as opposed to Chael getting in his head. Silva then invited Sonnen over (Chael looked like he wanted to be anywhere else) as the Brazilian fans booed. Silva told the fans that Brazilians have manners, he shook Sonnen’s hand, and then proceeded to invite him over for a barbecue (referencing a remark that Chael made about coming over and having Silva’s wife cook him a steak). Chael even laughed at that one. It was probably classier than anyone expected coming from a man that just tried to attack Sonnen a day prior at a press conference and threatened to send him home on a stretcher.
This was a tough loss for Chael Sonnen. It was Sonnen who once again cost himself the fight by making a mental mistake. It was evident to me early on that if Sonnen stuck to his game plan and continued to go for takedowns that he could have won a dominant decision for five rounds. Instead, he fell into the trap of either getting overconfident or just having a mental lapse and decided to stand with one of the greatest strikers in MMA history. Making matters worse was that after all of Chael’s talking, it was a missed spinning backfist that put him on his behind which cost him the fight.
The big question people will be asking is if the fight lived up to the hype. It is a hard question to answer. Someone reading about the fight who may not be an MMA fan would probably say no. However, I would have to say that the fight lived up to the fight in that it brought the drama, the intensity, and the surprise ending fans hoped to see coming off their famous first fight. For me, I found this to be two of the most thrilling rounds in UFC history but it all comes down to tastes and expectations. This fight ended much more decisively than their last, giving a rematch little legs to sell to the fans. Additionally, Silva inviting Sonnen over for dinner squashes any perceived animosity the UFC could use to make a rematch.
The future of both men are also in question. At 37 the clock is ticking on Anderson’s career. He has completely cleaned out the division by this point. There isn’t anyone left in the division that can bring much fan interest in a fight with Silva. Silva has dabbled in the light heavyweight division before but he and Jon Jones have both said that they have no interest in fighting each other. Would a Vitor Belfort rematch really sell at this point? A Michael Bisping fight would be fun but the UFC has given The Count plenty of chances to win a title shot and he just can’t pull it off. Hector Lombard maybe? Please do not give me Rich Franklin for a third time.
Chael has opened up the doors for several grudge fights in and out of the division. All of his talk about Brazil certainly opens up grudge matches against Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort, or Lyoto Machida at catchweight. Sonnen is a great talker and as long as he can keep winning, he’ll bring eyes to the television sets. However, another loss would turn Chael into a laughing stock and make him look more foolish than brash with his tough talk and losing record.
Tito Ortiz fought his last UFC fight at UFC 148 as he went down via unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin. It was a very exciting fight that saw the two open up immediately in the first round. Tito got a nice takedown in Round 1 but failed to get any good ground and pound going. Round two saw another back and forth fight but it was obviously that Tito was running out of gas here. Round 3 saw Tito nail Forrest with a punch that knocked Griffin down. Griffin admitted after the fight that he was seeing stars. Unfortunately Ortiz had no gas left in the tank and couldn’t follow up. Both fighters ended swinging although both were out of gas.
Full UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II results & winners…
Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen via TKO in Round 2
Forrest Griffin defeated Tito Ortiz via unanimous decision
Cung Le defeated Patrick Cote via unanimous decision
Demian Maia defeated Dong Hyun Kim via TKO in Round 1
Chad Mendes defeated Cody McKenzie via TKO in Round 1
Mike Easton defeated Ivan Menjivar via unanimous decision
Melvin Guillard defeated Fabricio Camoes via unanimous decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Gleison Tibau via unanimous decision
Constantinos Philippou defeated Riki Fukuda via unanimous decision
Shane Roller defeated John Alessio via unanimous decision
Rafaello Oliveira defeated Yoislandy Izquierdo via unanimous decision