With the sheer amount of UFC events that are taking place, a blockbuster show is hard to find nowadays, but UFC 148 was just that. Expected to contend for the UFC PPV buy-rate record, the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen is one of the, if not the biggest fight in the sport's history.
Similar to most blockbuster shows, UFC 148 ended with a myriad of talking points, and what better way to discuss those talking points then by organizing them in numerical order. Here are my thoughts on the big news coming out of UFC 148.
1. Is Anderson Silva the greatest MMA Fighter of All Time? I think so. And no, this isn't a reactionary thing. Right now its close between Silva and George St. Pierre as far as who is the GOAT in MMA. In a hypothetical fight in which the physiques of both men were equal, I'd take the Canadian to win the fight by taking down Silva and surviving on the feet without committing a moronic error.
Despite GSP winning the hypothetical fight, Silva still has the better resume (a 16 fight win streak over some of MMA's finest). The Spider also hasn't just cleaned out his division, he's practically destroyed it. Even the most promising potential title fights won't excite the most hardcore fan. One day Silva will lose his middleweight crown, but it will likely be a matter of age rather than skill.
2. The only man that can beat Silva at middleweight right now is Chael Sonnen. I'm sure Chris Weidman will wear the championship belt someday, but he's still probably a year away from that. Sonnen has the wrestling ability to defeat Silva, but his Achilles heel is his aggressiveness which has caused the mental lapses that have cost him both of his championship bouts against the Spider.
3. Arguments can be made that the stoppage was premature, and there is probably a crazy camera angle that shows that the knee by Silva was in fact illegal, but I'm fine with the fight. The knee looked clean from replays and Sonnen wasn't intelligently defending himself. Had referee Yves Lavigne let the fight go longer, the result would still be the same.
4. It's going to be intriguing to see where Sonnen goes from here. He's 35 years old, and it's not likely at all that he'll get another shot at Silva. Sonnen is still a useful member of the ZUFFA roster. He's a star, people know him and will watch his fight. He can be used as a platform for some of the young, talented middleweight looking to make a name for themselves.
5. Chael Sonnen needs to be a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. End of story.
6. Here are my rankings of most annoying fan bases in MMA: 5. Fans of Anderson Silva, 4. Haters of George St. Pierre 3. Haters of Anderson Silva 2. Fans of BJ Penn 1. Haters of Chael Sonnen.
8. Tito Ortiz was one of the most influential fighters in the game, and MMA wouldn't be where it was today without the personality of Ortiz. The only shame is his 1-7-1 record in his last nine fights.
9. Griffin is creeping into the Wanderlei Silva range of I have no desire see this guy who is past his prime fight again, but he's not there yet. He's probably an Alexander Gustaffson throttling away from that though.
10. I'm tired of all of this Hall of Fame talk. The UFC Hall of Fame has no credibility, and it's as prestigious as WWE's Hall of Fame. If there is a Hall of Fame it probably has to be created by MMA writers with the inclusion of MMA fighters and those in some way related to the sport.
11. Dana White's reasoning as to why Frank Shamrock isn't in the UFC Hall of Fame is a flawed argument, but I don't really care since it's the UFC Hall of Fame.
12. Going to back to the similarities between the UFC and WWE Hall of Fames, I can't wait until we get a Koko B. Ware-esque inductee. Whose it going to be? Chris Leben?
13. The surprise of the night for me was Cung Le's performance against Patrick Cote. I fully expected Cote to whether a possible storm from Le in the first round and control the following rounds, but that didn't happen. Le showcased solid grappling defense and his usual striking prowess without gassing like he did in the fight against Wanderlei Silva.
14. Despite the win, I'll still be reluctant to pick Le in a UFC fight. He doesn't have superb defense, and he's slowing down with age. Cote didn't push the pace either way which was a mistake.
15. The Maia/DHK fight really sucked. Aside from the main event, it was the fight I was looking forward to the most, and the injury to Kim really made the fight lackluster and anticlimactic.
16. It's hard to take anything away from such a short fight, but I expect Maia to have success at 170 as long as his gas tank holds up.
18. Mendes is an elite featherweight, and I want to see him against the division's best. There's not much to take from this fight other than Mendes showcasing some power.
19. I probably missed it, but to my account the first mention of Sonnen/Silva on Sportscenter happened at 2:52 AM Eastern. I can't completely trash them as it was the headline, but the event didn't get the attention that it deserved.
20. Ivan Menjivar's game plan of countering Easton's strikes wasn't a smart one. It cost him the fight. I'm not saying he would have won had he been aggressive, but altering a gameplan that isn't working mid-fight seems reasonable doesn't it?
21. On paper it was a nice win for Easton. Menjivar had an outside shot to replace Dominick Cruz to fight Urijah Faber for the Interim Bantamweight Championship. Easton has a quality boxing game, and he impressed me with his kicks. If he can take down the best in the division, he can do some damage with his top game.
22.The expectation for Melvin Guillard/Fabricio Camoes was Guillard finishing Camoes in the first round with his speedy striking skills, but that didn't happen as Guillard fought cautiously on the fight by picking apart Cameos with strikes while defending takedowns.
23. It was a must-win situation for Guillard, so I understand the performance. With that being said I don't really think this fight did anything for Guillard rankings-wise.
24. I don't have a problem with Khabib Nurmagedov receiving the decision from the judges against Gleison Tibau, but I don't see how it could 30-27. Round 2 was clearly a round for Tibau, and the third could go either way.
25. Overall the event wasn't the best, but all that really mattered was the main event. The fight delivered and so did the show.