UFC 148 Results & Analysis
Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen to retain the UFC Middleweight Championship Saturday night in Las Vegas, ending a rivalry that produced two memorable fights and some of the most entertaining trash talking in the history of combat sports.
Sonnen dominated the first round of the fight in the exact same manner that he did much of their first fight, by using his wrestling and a good ground game. The difference came in the second round when Silva was able to use a combination of his superior striking, and a fortunate slip by Sonnen to turn the tide and finish off an opponent who had hounded him in the media for nearly two years.
Silva was gracious in his post-fight interview, praising Sonnen's effort in English. When he switched to speaking Portuguese, it was not to dish out threats as he had in press conferences leading up to the fight, but rather to invite Sonnen to a barbecue at his house.
Sonnen seemed dejected and unusually dry in his post-fight comments. Some of that was no doubt because he knows that it takes away from his aura when he is revealed to be anything other than the powerhouse that he claims to be in his tongue-in-cheek interviews.
No fight could have lived up to the levels of hype that surrounded this one, but Silva vs. Sonnen 2 was a great main event that went the way that many thought it would, with Silva retaining his title and extending his unbeaten streak. He stretched his career UFC record to 15-0, and while time will eventually catch up with Silva, it has not yet.
[UFC Middleweight Champion] Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
Round 1: Silva came out swinging but Sonnen got an immediate takedown and ended up in guard. Silva kept good control of Sonnen's arms, and Sonnen was not able to strike as much as he would have liked. Sonnen looked to pass to side control but had to settle for half guard. Sonnen landed a knee to Silva's thigh. Sonnen got his arms free and hit some slaps to the left ear of Silva. Sonnen landed some hard right hands. Sonnen slipped to mount with 50 seconds remaining in the round, but he was not able to posture up and throw any strikes before the round ended. A huge round for Sonnen. I had it 10-9, but you could argue that it was a 10-8 round for Sonnen.
Round 2: They came out throwing, briefly, but Sonnen clinched and pushed Silva into the fence. Silva grabbed hold of a leg but could not get a takedown. Silva used head movement to duck a backfist attempt, and Sonnen slipped on the attempt and went down. Silva hit a hard knee to the stomach and landed shots that threatened to end the fight, but Sonnen was able to get back to his feet. Silva was relentless, however, and started to pick Sonnen apart, dropping him again and raining down strikes. Referee Yves Lavigne stopped the fight.
Result: Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen by TKO (punches) at 1:55 of round 2 to retain the UFC Middlweight Championship.
Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
Round 1: Griffin threw a leg kick but Ortiz followed with a right hand. Griffin continued to dance and throw leg kicks but Ortiz caught one and got a takedown. From guard, Ortiz landed a big elbow, but Griffin escaped. They stood in the center of the cage, each throwing hands. Both fighters were breathing heavily. Ortiz threw a head kick but Griffin blocked it. Griffin landed a leg kick. Ortiz shot for a takedown from about a mile away and Griffin avoided him. Griffin threw a front kick and followed with a right hand. Ortiz went for another takedown in the final seconds of the round and briefly got Griffin to the ground, but Forrest stood back up and they fell into a messy clinch as the round ended.
Round 2: Ortiz dropped Griffin with a right in the opening seconds of the round, but Griffin got right back up. He pushed forward and got caught by another right hand before he was able to push Ortiz into the fence. Back in the center of the cage they traded right hands. Griffin landed another leg kick, clearly his most effective weapon. Dueling chants for the two men broke out in the crowd. Griffin landed another good leg kick and a good left hand. Ortiz was standing almost stationary in the center of the cage while Griffin danced around and darted in and out throwing leg kicks. Griffin threw a front kick and Ortiz countered with a combination. Griffin threw a right hand and landed a left. Ortiz shot for a takedown but could not get it. Griffin stood over him while he grabbed Griffin's right leg and landed some hammerfists as the round ended.
Round 3: Griffin landed another leg kick to open the final round. Ortiz was clearly tired and struggled to keep up with Griffin's pace. Ortiz dropped Griffin with a big right hand but Griffin was back up immediately. Ortiz got a trip takedown and ended up in Griffin's guard. Griffin tried to sweep Ortiz but was unsuccessful. Griffin grabbed an arm and briefly looked for a kimura, but Ortiz would not allow it. Griffin eventually worked his way back to his feet. Ortiz was breathing quite heavily as the fight entered the final minute. Ortiz landed a good right jab. Griffin hit another leg kick. The two stood and traded wildly as the fight ended.
As soon as the horn sounded at the end of the fight, Griffin left the cage and took off for the locker room, calling to mind the incident after his loss to Anderson Silva in 2009, when he did the same thing. UFC President Dana White ran after him and successfully wrangled him back to the cage for the reading of the judges decision.
Result: Forrest Griffin defeated Tito Ortiz by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
After the decision was read, Griffin grabbed a microphone from Joe Rogan and conducted a post-fight interview with Ortiz himself. Strange behavior, certainly, but with Griffin, not exactly surprising.
Cung Le vs. Patrick Cote
Round 1: Le caught a leg kick early and Cote fell to the canvas, but Le did not want to go to the ground early and allowed Cote to stand back up. Le missed with a combination. Cote hit a leg kick. Cote threw some body shots that landed. Le threw a kick to the body. Le threw some kicks but Cote checked them. Cote pushed Le against the fence but Le hit a shot that appeared to hit Cote in the back of the head that forced him to back off. Back in the center of the cage, Cote landed a tentative leg kick but Le followed with a strong combination to the body. Cote seemed to be having trouble with Le's southpaw stance. He briefly switched to a similar stance, but went back to his right-handed stance. Le danced away and the round ended.
Round 2: Le hit a body kick and Cote countered with a strong leg kick. They briefly grappled, but disengaged. Le landed another kick but Cote followed with a good combination to the body. They exchanged big right hands, both landed, and both appeared to be cut by the strikes. Le hit a short knee to the body and a spin kick. Le hit a left kick, right hand combination. Le appeared to start tiring as his movement slowed and looked to be breathing heavily through his mouth. Cote threw a knee and landed a good combination to the body. Le clinched and pushed Cote against the fence. He seemed to be trying to buy himself some rest. Cote pushed the fight back to the center of the cage and threw a kick of his own before the round ended.
Round 3: Le hit a side kick early and looked to be trying to set up a spinning backfist. Cote threw a combination and grabbed a clinch in the center of the cage. He pushed Le up against the fence. He disengaged and threw a backfist of his own but Le partially blocked it. Back up against the fence, Cote threw some strikes but Le got a trip takedown. Cote was quickly back to his feet. He shot for a takedown of his own but Le stuffed him. Le hit a left hand to the body of Cote. Le got another trip takedown and ended up in Cote's guard. Le looked content to lay there as the final seconds of the fight ticked away. Cote tried to grab an arm, but Le pushed back from Cote as the fight ended.
Result: Cung Le defeated Patrick Cote by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
Round 1: Maia immediately shot for a single leg takedown. Kim stopped him momentarily, but Maia grabbed him around the waist. Maia slammed him to the ground, apparently breaking one of Kim's ribs in the process. He quickly mounted Kim, and threw a couple of strikes, but Kim was clearly injured and not offering any resistance whatsoever, so the referee jumped in for the quick stoppage.
Result: Demian Maia defeated Dong Hyun Kim by TKO (punches) at 0:47 of round 1.
Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie
Round 1: McKenzie had a huge height advantage, but it did him no good. He threw a kick, but Mendes sidestepped it, darted in and hammered him in the midsection with a right hand that dropped him. Some hammerfists on the ground and it was over.
Result: Chad Mendes defeated Cody McKenzie by TKO (punches) at 0:31 of round 1.
Ivan Menjivar vs. Mike Easton
Round 1: Easton ducked under a right hand and landed a combination after the two exchanged leg kicks early. Menjivar seemed intent on striking from close range, surely to try to make up for the reach advantage of Easton. He largely swung and missed with right hands while Easton was content to wait and counterstrike with left and right hooks. Menjivar threw a couple of head kick attempts but both were checked by Easton, who opened up a cut on Menjivar's nose. Easton went for a takedown as the round ended, but was unsuccessful. Tough round to score, but probably 10-9 Easton who was a bit more effective with his striking.
Round 2: Nothing of real note, early. A slow pace with neither fighter landing anything worth mentioning. Easton became the aggressor with Menjivar throwing counterstrikes. The pace quickened in the last 1:30 of the round. Menjivar blocked a flying knee attempt, the last significant action of the round.
Round 3: The pace was quicker than in the previous round, but that really is faint praise. Easton landed a significant shot to the body, but there was a lot of swinging and missing from both guys. Menjivar missed with a kick and Easton got a takedown. He landed some shots but Menjivar was back up quickly. More swinging and missing and the fight was over.
Result: Mike Easton defeated Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
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