The most anticipated UFC card in recent memory had its ups and down but ultimately ended with a some great fights as the main event delivered in all ways possible. Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen once again to retain his UFC middleweight championship in the main event of the evening while the co-main event of the night saw Forrest Griffin send Tito Ortiz into retirement with a devastating loss via unanimous decision.
Aside from the two-featured bouts of the night, the card was somewhat disappointing as eight of 11 bouts went the distance and few highlight reel moments were produced.
Catch my post-fight thoughts and analysis for the UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II main card below.
- The most anticipated rematch in UFC history saw a decisive conclusion as Anderson “The Spider” Silva successfully defended his UFC middleweight championship for the tenth time with a second-round TKO of Chael Sonnen. The first round of the fight looked very similar to the first bout with Sonnen taking Silva to the mat early on and controlling the entire round from the top position, landing multiple strikes. The second round was entirely different, though, as Sonnen was unable to bring the fight to the mat and Silva did what he does best by hurting his opponent with strikes until he eventually stopped the fight. There was some controversy as the most significant blow of the fight was a knee strike by Silva on the ground that looked illegal, but the replay showed it landed to the body, which washed away all potential controversy. The knee clearly hurt Sonnen and shortly after Silva got the finish. The Brazilian remains the most dominant fighter in the sport and after beating Sonnen for the second time and now familiar questions arise about who will be able to dethrone the champion. It was nice to see both men show class in their post-fight interviews with Joe Rogan and now that the epic rivalry is over, it will be interested to see where they go from here.
- For the third time, Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz fought three grueling rounds that brought the fans on their feet. Griffin came out on top in an extremely close and controversial decision that sent Ortiz into retirement on a loss. I scored the fight 29-28 for Ortiz (giving him rounds two and three), however the judges disagreed as they handed “The Ultimate Fighter” season one winner the unanimous decision with 29-28 scores across the board. Ortiz dropped Griffin twice in the fight and, when he attempted them, had great success with his takedown attempts. It wasn’t enough in the judge’s eyes, though; as Griffin picked up his first win since Feb. 2011. In typical fashion, Griffin threw a lot of peppering strikes and head kicks, which earned points and caused superficial damage to Ortiz, something the ringside judges saw as enough for the win. The fans in attendance booed the decision and unfortunately Ortiz won’t be back to redeem himself. Regardless of the decision, it was a spectacular fight and Ortiz deserves tremendous respect for closing out his career with an inspired performance.
- Cung Le picked Patrick Cote apart with his trademark kicks over three rounds en route to a unanimous decision and the first victory of his UFC career. The three-round fight was contested almost entirely on the feet with Le’s strikes landing consistently and with more significant damage. Both men looked good, but it seemed that at times Cote had problems finding his range and landing accurate strikes on the former Strikeforce middleweight champion. Le displayed some nice wrestling and takedowns throughout the fight even though he was unable to do much with them once the fight hit the ground. Although it was fairly competitive, it was clear Le was deserving of the win at the conclusion of the bout. For a man 40 years old, Le performed extremely well on the heels of losing his UFC debut to Wanderlei Silva last year. Entertaining fight and a very important win for Cung Le.
- Demian Maia was successful in his UFC welterweight debut as he defeated Dong Hyun Kim in just 47-seconds. The finish was quite anti-climatic as Kim was forced to quit after an awkward waist-lock takedown by Maia appeared to pop out the rib of the Korean. There is not much that can be said about the fight. Maia came out extremely hard and pressed Kim back towards the cage and that’s when the fight-ending takedown happened. Maia was happy about the win, but the bout was certainly not what fans were hoping for.
- Chad “Money” Mendes made quick work of Cody McKenzie when he scored a 31-second TKO victory for the first finish of the night at UFC 148. Mendes landed a huge right punch to the liver of McKenzie that sent him crashing to the mat and followed up with a quick flurry of ground-and-pound, forcing referee Steve Mazzagatti to call an end to the fight. After a disappointing effort in his title fight against Jose Aldo earlier this year, the Team Alpha-Male member rebounded in the best way possible with the first finish of his UFC career.
- In the opening fight of the pay-per-view broadcast, Mike Easton put the pressure on Ivan Menjivar from the opening bell to earn a unanimous decision victory and the biggest win of his career. Easton’s forward-moving strategy allowed him to get off first throughout the three-round bout and Menjivar couldn’t do anything to stop him. Easton got off first in nearly every exchange while Menjivar was basically just reacting to Easton’s movement. Nevertheless, Easton gets a huge win, adds a name opponent to his resume and is now in a very good place in the bantamweight division.