Anderson Silva beats Chael Sonnen
LAS VEGAS -- For more than two years, Anderson Silva was subjected to disrespect from Chael Sonnen. He vowed to exact his own version of disrespect upon his tormentor Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
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Chael Sonnen brought out the best in Anderson Silva at UFC 148 on Saturday night, writes Brett Okamoto. Blog
Despite his loss to Anderson Silva on Saturday night, 35-year-old Chael Sonnen isn't giving up his quest for a title, writes Franklin McNeil. Blog
• Gross: 5 answers following UFC 148
And Silva kept his promise, landing a hard body shot in the second round that led to a TKO victory.
But the win didn't come easy for Silva, who was dominated in the first round. Sonnen started quickly, taking the champion to the mat. He then pounded Silva with punches and elbows.
In the second round, however, it was all Silva. He stuffed Sonnen's takedown attempts and landed a knee to the chest as the challenger was on the canvas after missing with a spinning backfist. Silva then hit Sonnen with several hard punches that forced referee Yves Lavigne to wave the fight off at the 1:55 mark.
After all the hostility between the fighters, Silva quickly moved to bury the hatchet once the fight was over.
"Chael fought me and I fought Chael," said Silva, who improved to 32-4 after successfully defending his 185-pound title for a UFC-record 10th time. "This is a sport. I have nothing against Chael.
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"If you [Chael] would like to have a barbecue at my house, I'd like to have you over."
Sonnen, who harassed Silva over and over, was receptive of the champion's kind words.
"He gave me an opportunity," Sonnen said. "He didn't owe me anything. He's a great champion.
"He got me with a good knee."
Sonnen, who lost to Silva by fifth-round submission in their first meeting on Aug. 7, 2010, fell to 28-12-1.
The attendance for UFC 148 was a sellout of 15,016. The $7 million gate is largest in UFC history.
Ortiz loses to Griffin in his final fight
Recently inducted UFC Hall of Famer and former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz graced the Octagon for the last time as a professional fighter.
He took on fellow ex-champion Forrest Griffin in a rubber match. Each man promised victory, but when the dust settled, Griffin earned a unanimous decision.
All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Griffin. ESPN.com also had it 29-28 for Griffin, who exited the Octagon and was heading out of the arena before the scores were announced.
But Griffin was quickly summoned back to the cage, returning to a chorus of boos from the fans.
Upon his return to the cage, Griffin grabbed the microphone and interviewed Ortiz.
"I gave it my all," Ortiz said, who finishes his career with a record of 17-11-1. "I was tired in the third, but showed my heart."
Griffin improved to 19-7. But he wasn't gracious toward Ortiz when the punches, kicks and takedowns came to an end.
"It felt it was close," Griffin said. "I thought it was a draw. We need a fourth round. He gassed in the third."
Ex-Strikeforce champion Le gets first UFC win
Cung Le has accomplished much in his mixed martial arts career. But a UFC victory is something the former Strikeforce middleweight champion wanted to include on his professional record.
Le achieved his goal with a unanimous decision over Patrick Cote.
All three judges scored the bout 30-27 for Le. ESPN.com also scored the fight 30-27 for Le.
With his goal accomplished, Le (8-2) focused on his next move.
"One goal reached and another goal comes," Le said. "I'm an adrenaline junkie. I'm not sure I can give it up yet."
Cote, who returned to UFC for the first time since October 2010, fell to 18-8.
Maia makes successful welterweight debut
Former top middleweight contender Demian Maia made his welterweight debut against Dong Hyun Kim. But Maia's welterweight appearance lasted less than a minute. He quickly got control of Kim's back, took him to the ground en route to a TKO victory.
The finish came in 47 seconds as Kim apparently suffered a rib injury.
"When I took him down, he fell weird on his back," said Maia after he improved to 16-4.
Kim fell to 15-2-1 with one no contest.
Mendes stops McKenzie in a hurry
Former No. 1 featherweight contender Chad Mendes wasted no time proving he will soon be knocking on the door of a title shot.
Mendes needed only 31 seconds to finish off Cody McKenzie by TKO. McKenzie was making his UFC featherweight debut.
The end came after McKenzie threw a right-leg kick. It was caught by Mendes, who countered with a punch to the body.
McKenzie quickly went to the ground and covered up. Mendes jumped on his wounded opponent and landed several punches, forcing referee Steve Mazzagatti to step in and stop the fight.
"I knew that [punch] was something that was going to work against Cody," said Mendes, who improved to 12-1. "It was something we were working on. He has a long body."
McKenzie fell to 13-3.
Guillard controls Camoes while standing en route to win
A year ago, Melvin Guillard was on the cusp of a lightweight title fight. Then he dropped two fights in a row.
Guillard demonstrated against Fabricio Camoes why he remains a threat in the 155-pound division.
He used solid footwork, poise and strong takedown defense to earn a unanimous decision. All three judges, as well as ESPN.com, scored the bout 30-27 for Guillard.
With the win, Guillard improved to 47-11-3 with one no contest. Camoes slipped to 13-7-1.
More active Nurmagomedov remains unbeaten
It appeared that veteran Gleison Tibua had handed Khabib Nurmagomedov the first professional loss of his career.
Tibau used head movement to avoid Nurmagomedov's wild punches and solid takedown defense to stay on his feet throughout the three-round contest.
But Nurmagomedov (18-0) was the aggressor throughout, and that apparently impressed all three judges, who scored the bout 30-27.
ESPN.com had it 29-28 for Tibau, who fell to 34-8.
Aggression helps Easton stay perfect in Octagon
Bantamweight Mike Easton entered the Octagon for the third time, and now has that many wins inside the cage.
Easton stalked Ivan Menjivar for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision.
Two judges scored the fight 30-27, while the third had it 29-28. ESPN.com had Easton winning the fight 29-28.
The fighters opted to do battle on their feet for most of the bout. Easton (13-1) scored a takedown in the final round.
But it was Easton's constant stalking that kept Menjivar (24-9) on his heels.
Philippou stuffs takedowns en route to win
The fight was scored 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28. ESPN.com had it 30-27 for Philippou.
Fukuda tried several times to take Philippou (11-2) to the canvas, but his attempts were stuffed.
Philippou, a former amateur boxer, repeatedly connected with right hands that produced swelling around the left eye of Fukuda (18-6).
It appeared Philippou might not be able to finish the bout after a Fukuda finger went into his left eye. But after being examined by a cage-side physician, Philippou was able to resume fighting.
Roller frustrates Alessio with ground game
Lightweights John Alessio and Shane Roller had good WEC careers, but have found the going tough in UFC.
While both were in dire need of a win Saturday night, Alessio was in the more desperate situation -- having dropped five in a row.
Alessio got off to a strong start, dominating the standup action. But Roller took control in the second and third rounds by taking Alessio to the ground, where he earned a unanimous decision.
All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Roller (11-6). ESPN.com also had Roller winning 29-28.
Unable to get the fight standing, a frustrated Alessio (34-15) asked Roller: "Do you want to fight me? Come on? Let's fight. Do you want to ride me?"
Roller opted not to respond.
Oliveira ends skid with UD win
Rafaello Oliveira entered his lightweight bout against Yoislandy Izquierdo on a three-fight skid and appeared primed to see his UFC career come to an end with a fourth straight setback.
But Oliveira (15-5) repeatedly took Izquierdo (6-2) down to earn a unanimous decision that likely keeps his UFC roster spot intact.
The three judges scored the fight 29-28, as did ESPN.com.
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