One big miss led to one bigger knee which led to the end in what was billed as the biggest fight in UFC history.
Anderson Silva beat Chael Sonnen by second-round TKO at UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night to retain his middleweight title. It was his 10th consecutive title defense and his 15th straight win in the UFC. Both are UFC records.
Early in the second round, Sonnen went for a spinning back fist and Silva ducked underneath it. The momentum carried Sonnen forward and he fell to the ground up against the fence. Silva then threw a devastating knee to Sonnen's chest and followed up with close to 10 punches.
Sonnen managed to get to his feet, but Silva, as he has done so many times before, went for the kill. He continued mixing kicks and punches and at one point he appeared to hold Sonnen in place by the throat with his left hand and land punches with his right. As Sonnen collapsed to the floor again, Silva (30-4) dropped down on top of him and threw a series of seven or eight punches before the referee stopped the bout 1:55 into the round.
"He got me with a good shot, I was on the ground and he got me with a good knee," Sonnen said. "I'm very grateful to be here and have the chance. He's a true champion, man."
Sonnen (28-12-1) dominated the first round, taking down Silva six seconds into the fight. He kept Silva on his back the entire round, but Silva maintained good ground control and never let Sonnen posture up and land anything more than a handful of significant strikes.
The quick takedown mirrored their first fight. At UFC 117 on Aug. 7, 2010, Sonnen dominated Silva for four-plus rounds before submitting via triangle choke. Sonnen spent the next two years slinging more trash than a garbage man.
Silva always took the high road. Perhaps, the quiet road is more appropriate. Not until the UFC 148 conference call with reporters last week did Silva engage in Sonnen's game of trash talk. It continued at the press conference this past week and came to a head Friday at weigh-ins when Silva threw a quick shoulder jab in Sonnen's face during their staredown.
In the second round on Saturday night, Silva was able to defend against Sonnen's takedowns. It was something he struggled with for six rounds against Sonnen.
After the fight, Sonnen and Silva shook hands in the center of the octagon and acted cordially.
"Let's show Brazil has manners and I want everyone to applaud Chael," SIlva said. "If you'd like to have a barbecue at my house, I'd love to have you over for a barbecue."