UFC 148 Results: Silva Stops Sonnen In Round Two, Retains Middleweight Title
While the first round of Anderson Silva's headliner against Chael Sonnen would play out much like their first encounter, the second stanza would prove to be much more violent.
Silva halted Sonnen in the second round with punches in the UFC 148 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Vicious ground-and-pound signaled the end at 1:55 of round two, bringing a clear-cut conclusion to one of the most heated rivalries in UFC history.
Sonnen executed his game plan to perfection in the first round. He shot for a takedown in the first 10 seconds, moved to half guard roughly a minute later and ultimately mounted the champion. Silva spent the next four mintutes of round one on his back, stymied by the challenger’s dominant top game.
Round two would pan out much differently, however. Silva shot down Sonnen’s advances and later dodged an ill-advised spinning back fist from the 35-year-old. Sonnen wound up with his backside on the mat after the attempted strike, leaving him vulnerable for what was to follow. With Sonnen on the ground, Silva planted a knee firmly in his chest, visibly wounding the former WEC title contender. The American regained his bearings briefly, only to go down again seconds later. This time, Silva finished it, unleashing a series of stinging punches and forcing referee Yves Lavigne to intervene.
“I was on the ground, and he got me with a good knee,” Sonnen said. “Other than that, I’ll have to look at the tape.”
Silva has won 16 consecutive fights, a record 15 of them inside the Octagon. He has now defended the middleweight a record 10 times. Afterward, the two longtime rivals seemed to bury the hatchet.
“They gave me the opportunity. Nobody owes me anything,” Sonnen said. “He’s a true champion.”
Former light heavyweight champion and The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner Forrest Griffin bounced back from a pair of brutal knockdowns to defeat retiring UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz by unanimous decision in the co-main event. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Griffin, who notched his third victory in four outings.
Ortiz showed glimpses of his former self, as he scored takedowns and some patented ground-and-pound in the first and third rounds. However, it became clear midway through the fight that he lacked the cardio he was once held in high regards for and it would prove to be his Achilles' heel. Griffin consistently beat him to the punch, landing two, three and sometimes four strikes to his one.
The 37-year-old Ortiz saw his last best chance at victory come and go in round three, when he floored Griffin with a sharp left hook. He didn't possess the energy he needed to pursue the finish. Griffin recovered, picked up where he left off and took the rubber match between the two former champions.
“It felt close,” Griffin said. “I feel like we’ve got three draws [against each other]. I want a fourth round. He gassed at the end. I didn’t have enough gas, either.”
Ortiz exits the Octagon with 27 appearances, the most in UFC history, and 15 wins, tied for fifth most in UFC history.
Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le scored his first Octagon victory with a unanimous decision over Patrick Cote in a middleweight affair. All three judges scored it the same: 30-27 for the 40-year-old Le.
Le kept the Canadian at out of distance for much of the fight with his vast arsenal of kicks to the head and body, and he backed those up with tricky counter punches. Cote, a replacement for former middleweight titleholder Rich Franklin, started to find a home for his right hand in the second round, but his offense was few and far between. Le mixed in a pair of takedowns in the third round to seal it.
“I feel good; a little tired,” Le said. “I was going to do a backflip, but I didn’t have any energy.”
Demian Maia found success in his welterweight debut, as he stopped Dong Hyun Kim on an anti-climactic first-round technical knockout in a 170-pound showdown. Maia, a 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist, found the finish just 47 seconds into round one.
Maia moved immediately to the clinch, fought for a takedown and dragged the South Korean judo black belt to the ground, visibly injuring his ribs in the process. The 34-year-old Brazilian moved to mount on the injured Kim, launched a few punches and raised his arms in victory when it became apparent his opponent was incapable of defending himself.
Former UFC featherweight title contender Chad Mendes needed a little more than half a minute to dispatch of former training partner Cody McKenzie, as he stopped The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 alum on a brutal punch to the body and follow-up ground strikes in a featured bout at 145 pounds. McKenzie met his end 31 seconds into round one.
Mendes knocked the wind out of the submission standout with a well-timed counter right hand to the body and followed him to the ground, finishing it there with a series of punches and hammerfists.
“We knew that was something that could work against Cody,” Mendes said. “That was something we worked on. He’s got a long body.”
Mike Easton scored his eighth consecutive win, as he captured a unanimous decision ruling over WEC vet Ivan Menjivar in a bantamweight clash. All three cageside judges scored it for Easton: 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27.
Menjivar never seemed to find his rhythm himself in the match. Easton backed up his opponent with relentless forward movement and unleashed a mixed striking attack, with brutal punches to the body and kicks to the head and legs serving as his most effective weapons. Easton sealed it with a takedown in the third round, as he capitalized on Menjivar’s aggression, ducked under one of his kicks and brought the bout the ground.
UFC 148 quick results:
Anderson Silva def. Chael Sonnen via TKO (punches) at 1:55 of round 2
Forrest Griffin def. Tito Ortiz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Cung Le def. Patrick Cote via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Demian Maia def. Dong Hyun Kim via TKO (injury) at 0:47 of round 1
Chad Mendes def. Cody McKenzie via TKO (punches) at 0:31 of round 1
Mike Easton def. Ivan Menjivar via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Preliminary Card (FX)
Melvin Guillard def. Fabricio Camoes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Gleison Tibau via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Constantinos Philippou def. Riki Fukuda via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Shane Roller def. John Alessio via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Rafaello Oliveira def. Yoislandy Izquierdo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)