There are plenty of things to do on a Saturday night. However, most don’t involve watching two men locked inside of a cage attempting to punch, kick, knee, and choke their way to victory. In reality, though, few things match the excitement.
The UFC returns to its familiar territory of Las Vegas for the most anticipated fight card of the year with UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II. The event is headlined by a middleweight championship bout between the longest reigning champion in the organization, Anderson Silva, and one of the brashest personalities in the sport, challenger Chael Sonnen. The co-feature of the night is a trilogy bout between Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz, however the Silva vs. Sonnen rematch is the fight drawing eyeballs to the card.
If you weren’t planning on tuning in already, here are five reasons why you should invite some friends over, order a few pizzas, grab a couple beers, and tune into UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II this Saturday night, only on pay-per-view.
5. The Trilogy
The Ultimate Fighter season one winner Forrest Griffin and UFC Hall-of-Famer “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz are set to share the cage with each other for the third and final time in the co-main event at UFC 148. Both fighters know each other so well at this point and after winning one fight each against the other, they will be looking to repeat the success that won their respective bouts.
Griffin has struggled to find consistency is recent years, dropping three of his last five contests. The 32-year-old last fought at UFC 134 in Brazil where Mauricio “Shogun” Rua knocked him out in less than two minutes. Prior to that fight, Griffin had won two straight bouts, including the split decision victory over Ortiz.
Ortiz is on the downside of his career, going 1-6-1 in his last eight bouts with the lone win coming against Ryan Bader at UFC 132 in July 2011. He most recently fought against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 140 last December, losing the fight by TKO in the first round. Ortiz has battled injuries over the last few years, and has let it be known the fight will be the last of his career. He has publicly declared he will retire from the sport win, lose, or draw.
It all comes down to this. The two fan favorites have fought twice before, each winning one by split decision. The first fight took place back at UFC 59 in April 2006 and ended with Ortiz winning via controversial split decision. The pair had a rematch at UFC 106 in November 2009 and once again, the fight ended via hotly contested split decision, however it was Griffin who emerged as the victor. Look for both men to try and put a definitive ending to this epic series.
4. Six-Fight Main Card
Since UFC 148 is considered the biggest and most significant fight card of the year, the organization decided to spoil the fans a little more than usual by adding a sixth fight to the pay-per-view broadcast. Along with the two headlining bouts of Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz and Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, a ton of familiar names including Cung Le, Patrick Cote, Chad Mendes, Demian Maia and Ivan Menjivar are set to compete on the PPV broadcast.
The UFC 148 main card features plenty of notable names and competitive match ups that should be able to keep fans on the edge of their seats from the opening fight of the PPV broadcast to the last. If there is one fight card worth your hard earned money this summer, it without a doubt takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this Saturday night.
3. The Final Fight For A Legend
Former UFC light heavyweight champion and future UFC Hall-of-Fame inductee Tito Ortiz will fight for the final time in his 26-bout UFC career when he takes on Forrest Griffin at UFC 148. Ortiz holds the record for most octagon appearances in the history of the organization and on Saturday night, regardless of the results, he will call it a career and move on with his life. Ortiz has had a legendary career and taken part in some of the most memorable bouts in the history of the sport. Love him or hate him, Ortiz is an exciting fighter than rarely, if ever, produces a boring fight.
From his hated “Bad Boy” image at the beginning of his career to his turn to a more beloved fighter or “The People’s Champion”, Ortiz has given a lot to the sport and played a large roll in helping the UFC get to where it is today. Saturday night is going to be an emotional night for Tito Ortiz, as his Hall of Fame career will come to a close. No matter how his co-main event fight against Forrest Griffin ends, Ortiz will be remembered as an entertainer.
Tune in to UFC 148 live on PPV to see “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” leave his heart and soul one final time inside the same octagon where his career began over 15-years ago.
2. A Fired Up And Angry Anderson Silva
It is rare that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will show emotion outside of the Octagon, especially anger. Silva, in the media at least, is one of the most composed and laid-back individuals in the sport. If a fighter makes disrespectful remarks towards Silva he usually brushes it off with a humble comment like “I will do my talking inside the cage” or “Everyone has a mouth, so they can say what they want”. Not for this fight, though. On the pre-fight media call prior to UFC 148 last week, Silva broke character and unleashed a verbal tirade towards his opponent Chael Sonnen that was unlike anything ever heard before from the Brazilian champion. Silva said he is going to “break (Sonnen’s) face, and break every one of the teeth in his mouth” and that he will “beat him like his parents should have beaten him to teach him some respect”. All incredibly personal and passion-filled comments.
Not often does Silva get as fired up as he was on that call. The only thing that could even be relatively comparable was prior to UFC 126, and at that event he nearly kicked Vitor Belfort’s head off his shoulders. All of Sonnen’s talking has appeared to finally get under the champion’s skin. What remains unknown is if Silva will use that fire to put on a spectacular performance, or if it will cause him to play right into Sonnen’s hand. Either way, the 37-year-old will be in rare form come Saturday night.
1. The Most Anticipated Rematch In UFC History
The most anticipated rematch in UFC history headlines UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas as bitter-rivals Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Chael Sonnen are set to collide for the second time in a rematch of their UFC 117 Fight of the Year winning bout from August 2010.
Silva is the undisputed number one ranked pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. The longtime middleweight champion is undefeated in the UFC at 14-0 with nine wins by (T)KO. The Brazilian has not competed since defeating Yushin Okami by second round TKO at UFC 134 in August 2011, which is the longest layoff of his UFC career. The dynamic striker with dangerous submission skills will look to make it two-for-two with another win over Sonnen at UFC 148
Sonnen finally earns his long awaited rematch against Silva at UFC 147. The Oregon native defeated Brian Stann and Michael Bisping to earn his shot at the belt, but ultimately it was his performance in the first fight against Silva at UFC 117 that had fans clamoring for a rematch. Sonnen is well known for his verbal attacks on Silva and has continued his verbal assault in the weeks leading up to the fight. Submission defense has long been the weakness of the raucous Sonnen, but for this fight he has brought in a world-class grappling practitioner Vinny Magalhaes to tighten up his jiu-jitsu game.
The first fight between Silva and Sonnen is one of the most memorable in UFC history. Sonnen dominated the champion with a high volume ground-and-pound attack for four and a half rounds, only to have Silva score an incredible come-from-behind victory in the fifth round. Can Sonnen make the minor adjustment that caused him to lose the last fight just minutes before he handed Silva his first UFC defeat? Or will Silva succeed in his promise to break every limb in Sonnen’s body, making the Oregon native win number 15 on his UFC historic resume? This is the one fight of the year that can’t be missed.