Las Vegas – Often referred to as the best mixed martial artist of all time, Anderson Silva, the 37-year-old Brazilian champion proved Saturday night he has no intention of slowing down.
Middleweight champion Silva defeated Chael Sonnen via TKO at 1:55 of the second round in the highly anticipated rematch at UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Silva was dominated in an earlier meeting against Sonnen before losing by submission to the Brazilian champion. Since 2006, Silva has been the most dominant champion in UFC history at 14-0. Silva has successfully defended his title 10 times and had a 15-match winning streak going into the rematch.
Saturday night was a chance for Sonnen to get his revenge. Unfortunately for him - it didn't happen.
In the second round, Sonnen fell to the canvas and up against the fence after missing with a wild spinning backfist and Silva capitalized, landing a knee to the chest and then a number of solid strikes, forcing the referee to stop the fight. The fight was a rematch of the 2010 fight of the year, where Sonnen dominated Silva for 4 1/2 rounds before losing by submission.
On Saturday night, Sonnen had an early takedown and kept Silva on the mat for almost the entire first round, easily winning the round on the scorecards.
Sonnen looked to take Silva down again in the second, pressing the action and forcing Silva up against the cage. The two separated and moved across the octagon, but Sonnen's miscue led to his quick demise.
“You get knocked down sometimes in life and you have to put one foot in front of the other,” Sonnen said to ESPN after his defeat. “You’ve got to learn to shake things off and you have to keep your eye on the ball."
The fight was worth the hype according to UFC president Dana White.
“The crazy ass-whooping (Sonnen) put on Anderson in the first fight and the way that fight ended is what sold this fight,” White said. “After that fight, I said this is the type of fight that makes legends.”
Earlier, Forrest Griffin edged Tito Ortiz in a close unanimous decision in a bout matching former light heavyweight champions.
Griffin was able to land a number of kicks to the legs and body and controlled most of the fight that ended with three judges giving him a 29-28 edge. Ortiz rocked Griffin in the second and third rounds, flooring him with right hands, but Griffin rallied to sustain the attack.
On the undercard, Cung Le unanimously outpointed Patrick Cote for his first UFC victory, Damian Maia stopped Dong Hyun Kim in the first round, Chad Mendes rebounded from his first loss with an easy first-round victory over Cody McKenzie, and Mike Easton outpointed Ivan Menjivar.
In the preliminary bouts, Melvin Guillard earned his 11th UFC victory, and Khabib Nurmagomedov remained undefeated at 18-0, both winning unanimous decisions. Rafaello Oliveira, Shane Roller and Costa Philippou also won by unanimous decision.