Anderson Silva didn’t fulfill all of his promise Saturday night as Chael Sonnen left the octagon with his teeth and bones intact, but the UFC middleweight champ did apply a second-round beatdown to secure a record 10th title defense in the biggest fight in UFC history.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this sport is the best sport in the world,” the 37-year-old middleweight champ said, after stopping his outspoken rival at the 1:55 mark of the second round behind a big knee followed by a barrage of punches.
“Me and Chael work hard for all the people here. Chael disrespected my country, but that’s fine. That is nothing for me. This is a sport, this is UFC. Yeah.”
The comments in the cage immediately afterward (which included the mild-mannered Silva offering a barbeque invitation to Sonnen in Brazil) were a far cry from the over-the-top build-up to UFC 148 Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Silva, who kept his UFC record perfect with his 15th straight win, had threatened to all but kill Sonnen in their rematch from his come-from-behind victory at UFC 117 in 2010.
Much like that fight, Sonnen came out early and took the champ down. While he won the first round with top control, the world’s best striker fired back in the second.
After connecting with several strikes it was actually miscue by Sonnen, who slipped after attempting a spinning backfist, that led to the fight’s ultimate ending as Silva connected with the big knee on the ground and then followed with the punches.
“He’s a true champion, man,” Sonnen said. “He got me with a good shot. I was on the ground, he got me with a good knee and other than that, I’m going to have to look at the tape.”
Griffin retires Ortiz
Forrest Griffin spoiled Tito Ortiz’s swan song in more ways than one.
After the former 205-pound champ from Las Vegas pulled out a narrow unanimous decision victory, 29-28 on all scorecards, over Ortiz in his final fight in the UFC, Griffin ran out of the octagon. He eventually returned after UFC president Dana White chased him down and demanded he return to the cage, but then he stole the microphone from announcer Joe Rogan and took over interviewing duties of Ortiz, who only hours earlier became the ninth inductee to the UFC Hall of Fame.
“It’s Tito’s last fight. If Tito won his fight, stand there, get your hand raised or Tito’s hand raised,” White said. “If your plugging for Joe Rogan’s fucking job, it isn’t going to happen. Leave the microphone alone until Joe comes over and talks to you.
“I love Forrest Griffin, always have. He’s a great guy but he gets a little kooky sometimes.”
UFC 148 Results
Anderson Silva def. Chael Sonnen via TKO (punches) – 1:55, 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) – Round 1, 0:47
Chad Mendes def. Cody McKenzie via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:31
Mike Easton def. Ivan Menjivar via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
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)
Rafaello Oliveira def. Yoislandy Izquierdo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)