This Weekend in Fights! (July 7th, 2012) featured the two best Middleweights in the world in the fight of the year at UFC 148. The pound-for-pound greatest MMA fighter of all time, UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen collided in a highly anticipated rematch from UFC 117 in August of 2010. No other major or small promotions with any fighters of merit held events this weekend, which would have been silly to attempt to compete with UFC’s biggest show of the year.
UFC 148 took place at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Anderson Silva defended his UFC Middleweight title for the 10th time with a second round TKO of Chael Sonnen. In the first round Sonnen immediately took Silva down with a double leg takedown controlling the champion from various guard positions. Sonnen connected with ground and pound from guard, half guard and full mount, while Silva did everything possible to prevent the action from being halted. The second round lasted less than two minutes as Silva had good takedown defense. With Silva pinned up against the cage, Sonnen attempted a swinging back fist that resulted in him losing his balance and falling to the ground. SIlva connected with a devastating knee to the solar plexus and proceeded to hammer down strikes to the defenseless Sonnen resulting in the bout coming to an end at 1:55. Silva continues his 15-0 undefeated streak in the UFC with the most title defenses and longest reign in the promotion’s history. Sonnen drops to 6-3 in the UFC with two consecutive loses to Silva.
UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz had his retirement bout against Forrest Griffin. The two former UFC Light Heavyweight champions stepped into the cage for the third time in the rubber match with Ortiz winning their bout in 2006, Griffin winning in 2009 and again in 2012. After three rounds the judges rendered a unanimous decision for Griffin who had a significant number of strikes over the former longest reigning champion Light Heavyweight champion in UFC history. Ortiz had glimpses of greatest during each round with a takedown in the first that saw Ortiz connect with a lot of ground and pound. After that initial flurry Ortiz was visibly gassed out and continued to struggle for the remaining two rounds. Ortiz did connect with a few power shots that saw Griffin drop to the ground, but he was unable to capitalize due to exhaustion. Griffin conducted a post fight interview with Ortiz and sending him off into retirement on a losing note.
Former STRIKEFORCE Middleweight champion Cung Le played spoiler for the octagon return of Pat Cote.Cote started the bout with a takedown attempt, but Le stuffed it using Cote’s momentum and dumped him on his back setting the pace for the remainder of the bout. The 40-year-old Le used his superior striking ability to keep Cote at bay and get the judges nod. Le connected with a beautiful spinning heel kick that busted the side of Cote’s head causing blood to spill out. Cote pushed the pace with some great boxing combinations, but Le’s unorthodox style kept Cote guessing.
Demian Maia was successful in his first drop to Welterweight with a 47-second TKO victory over Dong Hyun Kim. Clinching against the cage, Maia took Kim down with a judo throw causing Kim to land awkwardly on his head and injury his rib. With the takedown Maia landing in full mount a threw one punch and immediately stopped as he could see that Kim was injured.
After losing for the first time in his career back at UFC 142 in a Featherweight championship match against Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes returned to his winning ways with a 31-second TKO of Cody McKenzie. Mendes caught a kick from McKenzie and connected with a devastating body shot to the navel area. McKenzie dropped to the ground where he was met with four ground and pound shots rendering him unconscious.
In a three round war Ivan Menjivar’s 3-fight win streak was snapped by the now 13-1 Mike Easton. It appeared that Menjivar couldn’t find his range and caught a nasty head kick and flying knee from Easton. Easton connected with more combinations and was the obvious aggressor throughout all three rounds. (Full UFC 148 – Silva vs. Sonnen II event results below.)
Saturday Night Fights –
Champ Anderson Silva def. Chael Sonnen via TKO (Strikes) – 1:55 – Round 2 – retains UFC Middleweight title
Forrest Griffin def. Tito Ortiz via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Cung Le def. Patrick Cote via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Demian Maia def. Dong Hyun Kim via TKO (Rib Injury) – 0:47 – Round 1
Chad Mendes def. Cody McKenzie via TKO (Strikes) – 0:31 – Round 1
Mike Easton def. Ivan Menjivar via Unanimous Decision ( 30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Melvin Guillard def. Fabricio Camoes via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Gleison Tibau via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Constantinos Philippou def. Riki Fukuda via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Shane Roller def. John Alessio via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rafaello Oliveira def. Yoislandy Izquierdo via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)