Anderson Silva backed up his first win with a repeat victory over Chael Sonnen in the highly promoted UFC 148 matchup at MGM Saturday night.
Sonnen again did most of the talking. Just like UFC 117, he doled out most of the punishment. And just like their first fight, it was Silva who came out on top and retained his middleweight title.
Sonnen took Silva down just five seconds into the fight, but missed a spinning back fist and tripped over the champion’s leg to start the dramatic final sequence. Silva quickly jumped on top of Sonnen and landed a series of blows, forcing referee Yves Lavigne to stop it at 1:55 of the second before a huge crowd at the Grand Garden Arena.
“He’s a true champion, man,” Sonnen said. “He got me with a good shot. I was on the ground, he got me with a good knee and other than that, I’m going to have to look at the tape.”
It was another heartbreaking defeat for Sonnen, who talked an inordinate amount of trash prior to both fights and dominated both of them until the finish. In their first fight, on Aug. 7, 2010, in Oakland, Calif., that dominance extended for 4½ rounds.
On Saturday, Sonnen wasted no time in taking Silva down. Silva spent all but four seconds of the first round on his back, trying to avoid strikes from Sonnen.
The key this time, though, was that Silva was able to defend himself better on the ground. While Sonnen clearly won the round, Silva didn’t take the kind of damage he did the first