Since we at Fight Cove operate out of the Great White North, what better way to honor one of Canada’s great pastimes (Hockey) than to use the famous “three stars” system for UFC events? If you are unfamiliar with the system, this is how it works. An independent, non-bias viewer (in this case, yours truly) selects the three top performers from the event to name as the “three stars”. If you couldn’t figure it out on your own, the first star is the most impressive performer from the event, the second star is the second most impressive, and so on and so forth.
The “three stars” are judged off the effectiveness and overall impact of their performance. Still following? Good, cause here is the “three stars” from UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II.
Third Star – Cung Le
At 40 years old, Cung Le proved he is still capable of hanging with elite competition as he defeated Patrick Cote via unanimous decision for the first UFC victory of his career. As are most of Le’s fights, it was an exciting striking match up that saw a lot of dynamic kicks and punches from the former Strikeforce middleweight champion. Le won ever round on all three judge’s scorecards against Cote and had a great strategy of keeping his distance and not allowing his heavy-handed opponent to put leather on his chin.
Le is never going to be world champion in the UFC, but he is an exciting fight that gives the fans what they want. For a fighter in the midst of his fourth decade on earth, what more do you really want?
Second Star – Chad Mendes
Bouncing back from a loss with a strong performance is a huge part of being a successful fighter in mixed martial arts. Chad Mendes did just that at UFC 148. After a disappointing defeat to featherweight champion Jose Aldo last January, “Money” looked like a rejuvenated fighter and rebounded from his first career loss with a brutal 31-second TKO of Cody McKenzie. The knockout was Mendes’ first finish in four UFC fights and the Team Alpha-Male member showed he is much more than just a grinding wrestler. Mendes landed a huge right hand to the liver of McKenzie that sent him folding to the mat in agony and the fight was over from there.
If the 27-year-old continues to put on great performances like he did on Saturday night, expect to see him fighting for the featherweight title again in no time.
First Star – Anderson Silva
Anderson “The Spider” Silva remained the most dominant fighter in MMA and kept his top pound-for-pound ranking with a second-round starching of Chael Sonnen. Silva defeated his rival for the second time and was without question the biggest star of the night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
With another Silva victory and title defense added to his legendary resume (15th UFC victory, 10th consecutive title defense), familiar questions arise about whom, if anyone will be able to dethrone the longtime Brazilian champion.
There are a number of very talented middleweights on the UFC roster, but when you stack up all their skills against those of Silva, there is no one fighter who stands out above the rest as a potential threat to the champion’s reign.