Anderson Silva stuns Chael Sonnen at UFC 117
In the months leading up his UFC middleweight title fight with Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen directed an unending barrage of insults at the champion. At UFC 117 in Oakland, Sonnen backed up every bit of his bluster for four and a half championship rounds.
Then he got caught.
The challenger Sonnen dominated the vast majority of the five round championship fight. He surprisingly got the best of the standup at the beginning of the first round, then utilized his wrestling to control and punish the longtime UFC champion.
Aside from a flurry at the beginning of the fourth round, Silva had no answers for Sonnen. Sonnen appeared a few minutes away from a dominating championship victory in the fifth round when the fight quickly turned.
Silva quickly took control of Sonnen's arm and wrapped his legs around Sonnen's neck. Silva proceeded to wrap up a tight triangle choke while simultaneously cranking an armbar. Sonnen dove backwards to try to escape the holds but Silva applied greater pressure and Sonnen was forced to tap.
"I'm devastated," Sonnen acknowledged at the post-fight news conference. "The better guy wins ever time. He won. He's the better guy."
Silva for his part was gracious in victory.
"I really don't have anything against Chael," Silva said. "Outside the ring what he said is in the past. I don't hold any grudges."
Silva, however, did point to an injury as a cause for his generally unimpressive performance. Silva said that he suffered a rib injury training with Japanese judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii prior to the fight and that a doctor told him not to take the fight with Sonnen.
UFC President Dana White was noncommittal about where the UFC middleweight division goes from here. Vitor Belfort could receive the next title shot against Silva or the UFC could potentially rematch Silva and Sonnen.
"Fighting Anderson Silva's a lot like eating Chinese food," Sonnen said. "Twenty minutes after I'm done I'm going to want to do it again."