Silva took all of Chael
Sonnen’s pre-fight bluster and blew it up in his face.
Silva (32-4, 15-0 UFC) stopped Sonnen on second-round punches in
the UFC 148 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in
Las Vegas. Ruthless ground-and-pound brought it to a close 1:55
into round two, likely bringing resolution to one of the most
heated rivalries in Ultimate Fighting Championship history.
Sonnen (27-12-1, 6-5 UFC) executed his game plan to perfection in
the first round. He struck for a takedown inside the first 10
seconds, moved to half guard roughly a minute later and ultimately
mounted the champion. Silva spent the final 4:54 of round one on
his back, silenced and neutralized by the challenger’s heavy top
Round two was a different story. Silva denied Sonnen’s advances and
later dodged a wild and ill-advised spinning back fist from the
35-year-old Oregonian. Sonnen wound up on the seat of his pants
after the attempted strike, leaving him vulnerable to one of the
game’s most vicious finishers. With Sonnen on the ground, Silva
planted a knee firmly in his chest, sapping both wind and resolve.
The American regained his footing briefly, only to go down again.
This time, Silva finished it, unleashing a series of jackhammer
punches and forcing referee Yves Lavigne to intervene.
“I was on the ground, and he got me with a good knee,” Sonnen said.
“Other than that, I’ll have to look at the tape.”
Silva has won 16 consecutive fights, a record 15 of them inside the
Octagon. He has now defended the middleweight title 10 times, also
an all-time record. Afterward, the two men seemed to bury the
“They gave me the opportunity. Nobody owes me anything,” Sonnen
said. “He’s a true champion.”
Griffin Spoils Ortiz Swan Song
Former light heavyweight champion Forrest
Griffin weathered a pair of knockdowns -- one in the first
round and another in the third -- to defeat retiring UFC hall of
Ortiz by unanimous decision in the co-main event. All three
cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Griffin (19-7, 10-5 UFC), who
won for the third time in four appearances.
Griffin File Photo
Griffin outlasted Tito Ortiz.
Ortiz (16-11-1, 15-11-1) showed glimpses of his former self, as he
delivered takedowns and some patented ground-and-pound in the first
and third frames. However, it became clear midway through the fight
that he lacked the energy required to finish the job. Griffin
consistently beat him to the punch, landing two, three and
sometimes four strikes to his one.
The 37-year-old Ortiz saw his last best chance at victory come and
go in round three, when he floored Griffin with a clean left hook.
He did not have the reserves he needed to pursue the finish.
Griffin recovered, picked up where he left off and took the rubber
match between the two former champions.
“It felt close,” Griffin said. “I feel like we’ve got three draws
[against each other]. I want a fourth round. He gassed at the end.
I didn’t have enough gas, either.”
Ortiz exits the Octagon with 27 appearances, the most in UFC
history, and 15 wins, tied for fifth most in UFC history.
Former Strikeforce Champion Le Outduels Cote
Former Strikeforce champion Cung Le
registered his first Octagon victory with a unanimous decision over
Cote in a middleweight showcase. All three cageside judges
scored it the same: 30-27 for the 40-year-old Le (8-2, 1-1
Le kept the Canadian at bay for much of the fight with his vast
arsenal of kicks to the head and body, and he backed those up with
sneaky counter punches. Cote (17-8, 4-8 UFC), a replacement for
former middleweight titleholder Rich
Franklin, started to dial in his right hand in the second
round, but his offense was sporadic at best. Le mixed in a pair of
takedowns in the third round to seal it.
“I feel good; a little tired,” Le said. “I was going to do a
backflip, but I didn’t have any energy.”
Maia Halts Kim in Welterweight Debut
Maia made a successful debut at 170 pounds, as he stopped
Hyun Kim on an anti-climactic first-round technical knockout in
a welterweight showcase. Maia (16-4, 10-4 UFC), a 2007 Abu Dhabi
Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist,
closed it out 47 seconds into round one.
Maia moved immediately to the clinch, fought for a takedown and
dragged the South Korean judo black belt to the ground, appearently
injuring his ribs in the process. The 34-year-old Brazilian moved
to mount on the incapacitated Kim (15-2-1, 6-2 UFC), fired a few
punches and raised his arms in triumph when it became apparent his
foe was incapable of defending himself.
Mendes Fells McKenzie in 31 Seconds
Alpha Male’s Chad Mendes
needed a little more than half a minute to dispatch Cody
McKenzie, as he stopped “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 alum
on a brutal punch to the body and follow-up ground strikes in a
featured matchup at 145 pounds. McKenzie (13-3, 2-3 UFC) met his
end 31 seconds into round one.
Mendes File Photo
Mendes destoyed his foe quickly.
Mendes (12-1, 3-1 UFC) knocked the wind out of the Alaskan with a
beautiful counter right hand to the body and trailed him to the
ground, finishing it there with a series of punches and
“We knew that was something that could work against Cody,” Mendes
said. “That was something we worked on. He’s got a long body.”
Easton Extends Streak, Outpoints Menjivar
Easton recorded his eighth consecutive win, as he captured a
unanimous verdict over
Tristar Gym’s Ivan
Menjivar in a bantamweight showcase. All three cageside judges
scored it for Easton (13-1, 3-0 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27.
Menjivar (24-9, 3-2 UFC) never established himself in the match.
Easton backed up the El Salvador native with relentless forward
movement and unleashed a multi-pronged striking attack, with brutal
punches to the body and kicks to the head and legs serving as his
most effective weapons. Easton sealed it with a takedown in the
third round, as he capitalized on Menjivar’s aggression, ducked
under one of his kicks and brought the bout the ground.More UFC 148 »
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