The UFC 148: "Silva vs. Sonnen 2" event that took place tonight (Sat., July 7, 2012) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, closed its show with what the promotion was calling the biggest fight of all time. Hyperbole or not, this was without question the most highly anticipated rematch in company history.
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Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen had an epic encounter at UFC 117 in Aug. 2010 in their first meeting. Could they duplicate that here? And would Sonnen finally back up all his big talk and take the middleweight championship?
"The Spider" did what he said he would do, finishing his arch nemesis via strikes. It came in the second round instead of the first but Silva got the job done with an incredible knee to the body followed by an overwhelming blitz of punches.
Anderson Silva is still your UFC middleweight champion. Chael Sonnen is not.
Deal with it.
Silva came out throwing big punches early and Sonnen got a takedown within the first 10 seconds. Just like that, Chael was on top and throwing the kitchen sink. The champion was staying safe, though, covering up well.
Sonnen worked his way to half guard while Silva simply held on for dear life, likely hoping for a stand up. "USA" chants broke out and the crowd was insanely hot for this.
The entirety of the first round was spent with Sonnen on top, raining down shots. He didn't appear to land as many as the first fight but he was in superior position, no doubt about that. When he passed to full mount with 45 seconds to go, there was no doubt about the first round.
Immediately upon the start of the second, Sonnen rushed over and pushed Silva into the cage. Anderson was less apt to throw punches this time, far more worried about getting put on his back again. In fact, he grabbed Sonnen's leg while Chael simply worked knees.
Sonnen dropped down for a single and Silva defended back to reset on the fence. They finally separated and Silva got the chance to throw punches. He avoided the next takedown attempt but Sonnen was pressuring.
Then Sonnen tried a spinning backfist and slipped. Silva went for a big knee, which appeared to land entirely too close to Sonnen's face, and then he swarmed. Before long, he overwhelmed with punches and Sonnen fell out.
The finish came not long after.
The replay showed the knee to be completely legal. Like a sniper, Silva landed with precision and finished the fight in the second round to retain his middleweight championship.