UFC 148 Recap: Silva Rolls Over Sonnen, Griffin Ruins Ortiz' Retirement
Silva makes Sonnen pay
Anderson Silva promised to finish Chael Sonnen in the first round of their rematch.
It took him 6 minutes longer than expected, but “The Spider” got the job done. In another highlight reel performance, Silva defeated Sonnen at 1:55 in the second round to retain the UFC middleweight title.
The opening frame started out much like their original encounter. Sonnen scored a quick takedown and spent the majority of the round laying on the champion. Though Sonnen scored a full mount late in the round, he was unable to land any significant and damaging strikes.
The rest of the bout was all the champion. An early Sonnen take down attempt was stuffed and from there, Silva found his rhythm. He rocked Sonnen with a few stiff shots. In a desperate attempt at offense, Sonnen attempted a spinning back fist and stumbled into the cage and onto the mat. On the canvas, Silva delivered a wicked knee to the body. With a hapless Sonnen, Silva pounded away forcing a stop.
The win is Silva’s sixteenth in the Octagon and his tenth successful title defense.
The only question remaining: Who’s next?
Griffin spoils Ortiz’ retirement
It was supposed to be a triumphant finish for Tito Ortiz. After more than a decade of service to the sport of MMA, “The People’s Champ” was going out on his terms against an opponent that he picked. But in a rather shocking turn of events, Griffin pulled off a unanimous decision victory in a back and forth battle.
Ortiz came out aggressive in the first round knocking the original Ultimate Fighter to the canvas with a right hand. The longest reigning light heavyweight champion in UFC history continued his offensive from there. During a tie up, Ortiz landed a takedown and dished out some of his trademark ground and pound. An elbow from the top position brought the raucous MGM Grand Garden Arena crowd to their feet.
“The People’s Champ” slowed considerably in the second round allowing Griffin to go to work. Though not known as a knockout artist by any stretch of the imagination, Griffin dished out a bevy of jabs and hooks that found their mark on the dome of Ortiz.
Going into the final five minutes of a Hall of Fame career, the fight seemed to be up for grabs. Both men gave it their all in the last round but it was Ortiz who grabbed the upperhand. Another stiff power shot sent Griffin rolling backwards and Ortiz landed another take down midway through the round that should’ve sealed the deal.
When the judges’ scores were read, many were surprised that all three awarded the fight to Griffin, 29-28. TWV writers Anthony Springer and Andreas Hale scored the fight for Ortiz, 29-28, awarding the former “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” the first and last round.
Le earns first UFC win, does it “for the 40-year-olds”
After taking an amazing amount of punishment against Wanderlei Silva, former Strikeforce champion Cung Le bounced back, outclassing Patrick Cote in a unanimous decision victory. For fifteen minutes, Le put on a vintage performance, landing foot sweeps, awe inspiring kicks and punches at close range. Cote was unable to find his rhythm over the duration of the bout. When Cote looked to find his range, Le backed him up with kicks to the midsection.
All three judges scored the fight 30-27.
“I did this for the 40-year-olds,” an excited Le said after the bout.
Maia stops Kim in welterweight debut
Demian Maia needed little time to put away Dong Hyun Kim. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace went back to his roots, taking Kim down early in the first round. Kim appeared to hit the mat hard allowing Maia to get a full mount. After a pair of strikes, the referee halted the bout at the 37 second mark.
Mendes steamrolls McKenzie
In the biggest mismatch of the night, former title contender Chad Mendes plowed through Ultimate Fighter contestant Cody McKenzie. Mendes caught a kick and blasted McKenzie with a vicious body shot that sent the prospect crashing to the mat. A couple hammer fists later and Mendes was doing his celebratory back flip. Time of stoppage was 31 seconds.
Easton hesitant, but earns victory over Menjivar
Call it pre-fight jitters or an over respect of the other’s talents, Mike Easton and Ivan Menjivar went to battle for fifteen minutes…and produced no fireworks. The majority of the bout was spent with Easton chasing Menjivar, Menjivar backing up and the pair trading off the mark haymakers. The judges scored the contest 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27.
Guillard gets back on track with hard fought victory over Camoes
With the fans in the arena desperate for some action, Melvin Guillard and Fabricio Camoes did a good job a delivering in the most entertaining bout of the prelims. Guillard appeared to be more tentative than usual, perhaps due to his past two losses by submission. Camoes was game on the feet despite being overmatched, but found his success when able to get it to the ground and attempt submissions. Although he was close a few times, Camoes was unable to put away Guillard who escaped and delivered solid ground ‘n pound. Melvin Guillard gained the unanimous decision with 30-27 appearing on all three judges’ scorecards in what was a much closer fight than the scores indicated.
Nurmagomedov tops Tibau, stays undefeated
Undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov stepped into cage looking to keep his record clean against a tough fighter in Gleison Tibau. While there wasn’t much significant damage inflicted in the opening two rounds, Nurmagomedov looked to establish a furious pace early as he grinded his opponent with countless attempts to bring the bout to the ground. Tibau was able to counter the Russian as he displayed flawless takedown defense throughout. The third and final round saw more of the same as both fighters were unable to land many clean strikes. Nurmagomedov swung widely yet Tibau could not find an opportunity to counter strike. The extremely close nature of the fight was not reflected in the judges’ score cards though as all three called it 30-27 to Nurmagomedov. The 23-year-old has now won all 18 of his professional bouts, adding another impressive victory to his record after beating Kamal Shalorus in his UFC debut.
Philippou powers through nasty eye-poke, earns decision over Fikuda
Costa Philippou and Riki Fikuda began their bout with a feeling out process before Fikuda charged in with a solid shot. Philippou took over the round though as he found a home for his right hand, landing multiple times and causing visible damage to his opponent’s face. Moving into the second round, Philippou began to loosen up and open up more with his boxing. Round three saw more of the same as Philippou stuffed Fikuda’s takedown attempts and utilized his superior boxing. The contest briefly came to a frightening halt as Fikuda accidently poked Philippou in the eye. Luckily, the bout was able to continue as Philippou looked angered and pushed the pace for the remainder of the round. The judges scored it 30-27, 30-27 & 29-28 to give Costa Philippou the decision. The win propelled Philippou to his fourth straight victory and improved his record in the UFC to 4-1.
Roller breaks three-fight losing streak, defeats Alessio
Shane Roller and John Alessio both came into Saturday night’s bout desperate for a win. Despite suffering a kick to the groin, Alessio stole the first round with a combo that dropped Roller and led to a dominant position in side control as the horn sounded. Early on in the second, Roller was unsuccessful with a guillotine but quickly grabbed a hold of Alessio and slammed him to the canvas. As time progressed, Roller took the back and secured a body triangle while throwing some hard elbows. Momentum briefly swung back into Alessio’s favor in the final frame as the veteran came in with a flurry of punches, yet Roller was able to keep his wits and successfully score a takedown. Roller once again took the back of Alessio and locked in the body triangle. Although he was unable to submit Alessio, Roller’s control earned him the decision as all three judges scored it 29-28 in favor of former All-American wrestler. The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Roller and likely saved his job in the UFC as well.