Anderson Silva ground and pounds Chael Sonnen during UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, July 7, 2012. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
In the main event at UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II, UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva successfully defended his title, defeating Chael Sonnen for the second time. Silva stopped Sonnen with strikes at 1:55 in the second round. Silva is now 32-4 in his career, 15-0 in the UFC, and has made a remarkable 10 defenses of his belt. Sonnen is now 27-12-1.
This fight was a classic example of each fighter's strengths. In round 1, Sonnen used his strong wrestling and ground control to essentially repeat the first four rounds of their first fight, keeping Silva down and in trouble. In round 2, Silva showed his incredible striking, slipping Sonnen's shots before hurting him badly with a knee to the chest. The fight is not without controversy though, as Sonnen's supporters are throwing a lot of accusations at Silva, including kneeing the head of a downed opponent, holding the tights, holding the cage, and greasing.
What was the high spot of this fight?
That depends on who you were cheering for. Chael fan? Then all of round 1 is for you. Silva fan? Then ditto for round 2.
Where do these guys go from here?
Good question - where does Anderson Silva go from here? There are some options for Middleweight contenders, including the Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman winner, the Hector Lombard vs. Tim Boetsch winner, and Michael Bisping. But perhaps the most interesting is former Light Heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, who challenged Silva over twitter last night. We may need to wait to see how this all shakes out.
For Sonnen, it's also a good question. Now that he has lost to Silva twice, he seems a bit rudderless. He's probably best used in other high profile fights, even if they are not relevant to the top of the division. Either Vitor Belfort or Wanderlei Silva would be fine and keep Chael's anti-Brazilian shtick alive.
Watch it now, later or never?
Now. The greatest mixed martial artist of all time facing adversity and doing his thing. Or, if you prefer, the best character in the business getting screwed. Either way, you need to see it.
More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 148 in the full entry.