The most anticipated fight and rematch headlined UFC 148, as Anderson Silva retained his UFC Middleweight Championship against the only fighter to ever push the champion to his limit in Chael Sonnen. The co-main event witnessed Tito Ortiz fall short in securing a win in his final UFC fight against Forest Griffin.
The main event was the most talked about fight possibly ever in the history of the UFC. Sonnen was his usual self leading up to the fight, putting down Silva and claiming he was the real champion.
In their first encounter, at UFC 117, Sonnen dominated Silva winning the first four rounds only to be submitted with less than two minutes in the fifth and final round. A win is a win, but the question remained if Sonnen had found the key to defeat the unstoppable Silva. Leading up to the fight Salvia began to unwind, talking trash about Sonnen and getting physical during their weigh in. This was uncharacteristic of Silva who always remained calmed.
Sonnen took it to Silva in the first round, taking him down six seconds into the fight. He would continue to dominate the first round, not allowing Silva to get off his back. In the second round Sonnen was unable to take the champion down, signaling the beginning of the end after he missed a spinning elbow and was left on the ground against the Octagon’s cage. Silva would follow up with a running knee to the body and proceeded with several shots to the face before the referee stepped in.
In the post-fight interview something unique happened. Both men seemed to bury the hostility with Silva inviting Sonnen to a barbeque at his house. Whether this intense feud is settled or not there likely won’t be a rematch, as Sonnen is now 0-2 against Silva who showed why he is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Silva remains undefeated in the UFC with 15 straight victories and 10 championship defenses. Both are UFC records that nobody is close to topping. The question for what’s next for Silva remains uncertain after he defeated the only man to ever come close to beating him. For Sonnen, he’ll fight another day just probably not against Silva for the championship.
Hours after Ortiz was inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame, he closed his MMA career when he lost to Griffin to conclude their trilogy. The fans were split chanting the names of both fighters at various times. For Ortiz, this fight showed it was time to retire. While he showed heart, he also took a beating. Ortiz looked tired in the fight and it wasn’t the same man people watched seven years ago. The sport took a beating on his body and after several surgeries, which included both knees and his back it’s time to move on.
The post-fight for this one was bizarre in itself too. Griffin clearly won the fight and he knew it. After final round ended, Griffin bolted out of the cage and quickly walked to the backstage area before UFC President Dana White grabbed him. White told him to stand in the Octagon, wait for the winner to be announced and take part in the post-fighter interview. Griffin shouldn’t have to be told this, as he knows how the company operates.
Then it got even stranger. As Joe Rogan went to interview Griffin, he took the microphone out of his hands and conducted his own interview with Ortiz. It was a classes and rude action. This was Ortiz’s moment to thank the fans and say goodbye. The whole post-fight scenario with Griffin was sketchy and not necessary. Griffin later apologized, but it was a little too late.
UFC 148 drew an estimated attendance of 15,016 to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with a live gate of approximately $7 million. It broke the record, in attendance and profit, for a live gate at the arena and is easily the highest grossing show for any MMA show.
The night saw one career continue to flourish as Silva hushed any doubters and witnessed the end of another in Ortiz. The UFC hyped the show as its most magnificent and they clearly delivered on this promise.
- Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen via TKO (strikes) 1:55 in round two to retain the UFC Middleweight Championship
- Forrest Griffin defeated Tito Ortiz via unanimous decision
- Cung Le defeated Patrick Côté via unanimous decision
- Demian Maia defeated Dong Hyun Kim via TKO (injury) 47 seconds in round one
- Chad Mendes defeated Cody McKenzie via TKO (punches) 31 seconds in round one
- Mike Easton defeated Ivan Menjivar via unanimous decision
- Melvin Guillard defeated Fabrício Camões via unanimous decision
- Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Gleison Tibau via unanimous decision
- Constantinos Philippou defeated Riki Fukuda via unanimous decision
- Shane Roller defeated John Alessio via unanimous decision
- Rafaello Oliveira defeated Yoislandy Izquierdo via unanimous decision
Official Bonus Awards
- Fight of the Night: Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
- Knockout of the Night: Anderson Silva