The Ultimate Fighting Championship came to MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight for one of its biggest events to date at UFC 148: “Silva vs Sonnen 2.” The card featured a UFC Middleweight Championship rematch between Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Chael Sonnen.
In other main card action tonight, Forrest Griffin looked to settle the score in a light heavyweight trilogy bout with “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz. Canadian striker Patrick “The Predator” Côté returned to face Cung Le in middleweight action. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the card.
UFC Middleweight Championship
Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs Chael Sonnen
Silva landed a nice left hook to open the fight, but Sonnen immediately took him down. Sonnen landed punches and short elbows and moved to half-guard. He used palm strikes to the side of the head to try to set up a pass to mount. Sonnen kneed to the body and tried to isolate Silva’s right arm. Hard punches scored for Sonnen and he kept Silva pinned down. Sonnen moved to mount with 50 seconds to go and landed short strikes. 10-9 Sonnen, if not 10-8.
Sonnen clinched early in round two and held Silva against the fence while throwing occasional knees. Silva punched free and Sonnen rushed back in again. Silva avoided a takedown and Sonnen fell after missing with a spinning back fist. Silva landed a knee to the body on the ground and flurried with punches. Sonnen briefly stood, but Silva dropped him again with punches and the fight was stopped.
Winner: Anderson Silva by TKO (Punches) at 1:55 of round two. He improves to 32-4-0 and remains the UFC Middleweight Champion.
Forrest Griffin vs “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz
Ortiz countered early kicks from Griffin with a nice right hook. Griffin remained active with kicks, but Ortiz took him down against the cage. Ortiz landed two elbows from the top and followed with a right hand as Griffin tried to stand up. Ortiz kept him pinned down, but Griffin used butterfly guard to push him off and stood up. Left hooks landed for both fighters and Griffin began to establish his jab.
Griffin scored with a body kick and avoided a takedown. He landed another kick to the body and the fighters exchanged looping hooks. Griffin landed an uppercut and avoided a takedown. Ortiz appeared to slow down and Griffin picked his shots with punches. Ortiz missed with two lunging right hooks. Griffin continued to mixed up his strikes with knees and punches, but Ortiz took him down at the bell. 10-9 Griffin.
Ortiz rocked and briefly dropped Griffin with punches to open round two. Griffin got back to his feet and ate more shots, but he managed to recover and landed a knee in the clinch. Griffin began to score with right hands and he once again took control of the striking exchanges. Griffin jabbed and mixed in leg kicks and right hooks.
More jabs connected for Griffin and Ortiz struggled to land anything in return. Griffin ducked under Ortiz’s punches and landed a counter combination. Ortiz managed to connect with a one-two, but Griffin wasted little time in firing back with a body kick and punches. The fighters traded hooks and Griffin sprawled out of a takedown attempt. He landed hammerfists until the bell. 10-9 Griffin.
Griffin opened round three with lead left hooks and leg kicks. A left hook floored Griffin and he did a somersault backwards. Griffin stood, but Ortiz took him down. Ortiz landed elbows and briefly passed to half-guard. Griffin fought back to full guard and nearly got back to his feet, but Ortiz kept him on the mat. Ortiz landed another elbow and avoided a Kimura attempt.
Ortiz tried to posture up to land more damaging strikes, but Griffin used the opportunity to stand against the cage. He clinched with Ortiz and landed a knee. Griffin flurried with punches and Ortiz appeared to be badly fatigued. He snuck in a right hook, however, and Griffin answered with more jabs. Both fighters threw big punches in the final ten seconds. 10-9 Ortiz.
Winner: Forrest Griffin by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 19-7-0.
Cung Le vs Patrick “The Predator” Côté
Le caught a kick right away and tripped Côté to the mat, but allowed him to stand. He kicked at Côté’s lead leg and midsection. Côté pushed forward with punches, but Le landed another body kick. More body kicks were exchanged and Côté blocked one to the head.
Côté briefly looked for a takedown and Le stuffed it. Le landed a hard body kick and a right hook behind the ear as Côté closed the distance. A short right hook landed for Le and Côté began to kick at his leg. Le landed yet another hard body kick and Côté chased him around the cage for the final 15 seconds. 10-9 Le.
Côté closed the distance in round two, but Le countered nicely with a right hook and resumed throwing kicks. Côté landed a solid combination and a right hook in close as Le threw a knee. Le landed a hard right hook, but it appeared to have zero effect. A gash opened on the right side of Côté’s head as Le bled slightly from the left eyebrow.
Le scored with a spinning back kick to the liver and followed with a kick-punch combo. Côté flurried with punches and finished with a leg kick. Another combination landed for Côté, but Le drilled him with a body kick. A knee and a right hook landed for Le, but Côté hurt him with counterpunches. The fighters clinched and Côté punched to the body. Close round. 10-9 Côté.
Le opened round three with a head kick and time was called after Côté was kicked in the groin. Action quickly resumed and Côté clinched against the cage. A spinning backfist connected for Côté, but Le was unfazed. Côté switched stances and jabbed with his right hand. Le replied with a spinning back kick.
Côté clinched once more and punched to the body, but Le tripped him to the mat. Côté stood and looked for a takedown of his own. Le landed two hard right hooks and Côté responded with two in return. A body kick and a looping right hook connected for Le and he took Côté down. Côté elbowed from the bottom as the round ended. 10-9 Le.
Winner: Cung Le by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 8-2-0.
Demian Maia vs Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim
Maia immediately clinched and tried for a takedown as Kim countered with elbows. Maia took his back and slammed him forward to the mat. Kim clearly injured his rib on the fall. Maia landed two punches on the ground, but noticed that Kim was unable to fight on and stood up with his arms raised. The fight was waved off after the bizarre injury ending.
Winner: Demian Maia by TKO (Rib Injury) at 0:47 of round one. He improves to 16-4-0.
Chad “Money” Mendes vs Cody “AK Kid” McKenzie
Mendes landed quick punches early on and followed with a leg kick. He blocked and avoided head kicks from McKenzie, then caught a body kick and floored him with a right hook to the liver. McKenzie collapsed to the mat and Mendes landed punches until the fight was quickly waved off.
Winner: Chad Mendes by KO (Punch To The Body) at 0:31 of round one. He improves to 12-1-0.
Mike “The Hulk” Easton vs “The Pride of El Salvador” Ivan Menjivar
Jabs and leg kicks landed for both fighters in a relatively uneventful opening two minutes. Easton threw more leg kicks and blocked a head kick. He landed a head kick of his own and Menjivar backpedalled. Menjivar regained his footing and threw a pair of spinning back kicks to the thigh. Easton pushed forward with two jabs and a right hook. Menjivar threw kicks from the outside and Easton replied with some of his own. A right hook scored for Easton late in the close round. 10-9 Easton.
The second round began with overhand rights from Menjivar as Easton threw body kicks. Menjivar finally landed a punch-kick combo of his own, but Easton remained the more dynamic striker. Both fighters threw kicks and Menjivar circled to avoid a right hook as the crowd grew restless. Easton walked forward as the aggressor with punches, but Menjivar countered nicely with leg and body kicks and right hooks. An exchange of body shots led to a flying knee from Easton. Very close round. 10-9 Easton.
Round three began with more action as the fighters traded some solid punches in close. Menjivar threw a head kick and Easton targeted the body with punches. He avoided Menjivar’s spinning attacks and took him down. Easton landed punches from the top and Menjivar scrambled up to his feet. A standing elbow scored for Menjivar, but Easton immediately answered back with a left hook. Another left hook landed for Easton after a body shot from Menjivar. 10-9 Easton.
Winner: Mike Easton by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 13-1-0.
(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)