posted on July 08, 2012 14:00
UFC 148 came to us from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night. Here is a recap of the main card:
Ivan Menjivar vs. Mike Easton (135 pounds)
Easton lands an early legkick. Menjivar tries to fire back, but misses. Menjivar connects with several strikes on a couple of exchanges. Easton scores with a series of jabs and a head kick that staggers Menjivar. Easton lands a punch/legkick combination, but misses with a Superman punch. Menjivar misses an overhand right attempt. A brief grappling battle on the cage ensues as the round ends.
Menjivar begins round two by landing an overhand right, but misses a spinning legkick. Both men exchange solid legkicks. Boos rain down from the crowd as the fighters posture around the cage, with little action. Menjivar lands a right hook, but Easton pushes forward. A body shot by Menjivar, and a jumping knee by Easton, end the round.
The final round begins with Easton landing a loud body shot. Menjivar misses a spinning back kick, and Easton takes advantage by scoring a takedown. After some brief ground-and-pound by Easton, both fighters are up. Menjivar lands a short elbow as time expires.
Mike Easton wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie (145 pounds)
Mendes lands a solid early body shot, followed by both fighters exchanging knees. McKenzie attempts several long, lazy kicks. Mendes easily avoids them, and lands a straight right to the body that drops McKenzie. On McKenzie’s way down Mendes clips him with a right hand. Mendes pounces, and drops several hammerfists before the referee stop the fight.
Chad Mendes wins by TKO at 0:31 of round one.
Demian Maia vs. Dong Hyun Kim (170 pounds)
Maia tries an early takedown, but Kim fights him off with elbows. Maia settles for standing back control. Maia finally gets the takedown, with Kim apparently injuring his rib on the way to the mat. Maia briefly gains full mount, but the referee stops the fight before further damage can be done.
Demian Maia wins by TKO at 0:47 of round one.
Patrick Cote vs. Cung Le (185 pounds)
Le catches a legkick attempt by Cote, and throws his opponent to the ground. Both fighters are back up. Le lands a head kick and a left kick to the body. Cote fires back with a solid body punch, and both fighters exchange body kicks. Le ducks a punch and lands a right hook. After a left hook by Le, there is a session of posturing as the round ends.
Both fighters exchange legkicks to start round two. A right hand by Cote opens a cut over Le’s eye. Le fires back with a big right hand. Cote lands lefts and rights to the body, but Le scores with a spinning heel kick. Cote is unfazed, and charges forward with a flurry. Le stays calm, landing a left knee and a right hand. Cote grabs a clinch, and lands several good body shots as the round ends.
Le begins the final round with a sidekick attempt. After some brief clinch work, Cote lands a spinning backfist on the separation. Le tries another crazy spinning back kick, but misses. Le scores a brief takedown, but both fighters are quickly back up. A good exchange ends with Le landing a good right hand. Le gets another takedown, with Cote landing elbows from the bottom, as the fight ends.
Cung Le wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin (205 pounds)
Ortiz scores an early takedown, and works some ground-and-pound. Both fighters are up. Griffin lands legkicks and head kicks, scoring with strikes every time Ortiz shoots for a takedown. Ortiz continues to try to close the distance, but Griffin is landing punches-in-bunches every time his opponent gets close. Ortiz gets a very brief takedown as the round ends.
Ortiz opens round two with a straight right that staggers Griffin, followed by a left hook. Griffin quickly grabs a clinch, trying to recover. Both fighters exchange jabs and straight rights. A right uppercut by Griffin opens a cut on Ortiz’s nose. Left/right combination by Griffin, who is clearly landing a greater amount of strikes. After landing a left hook, Ortiz tries a takedown. Ortiz eats several hammerfists from Griffin for his trouble, and the round ends.
The final round begins with Griffin continuing to pick apart Ortiz with punches. Ortiz drops Griffin with a left hook, but is too tired to capitalize. Ortiz gets another takedown, but Griffin pulls guard with Ortiz unable to pass. Griffin scrambles to his feet, and lands a solid combination. Both fighters swing for the fences as time expires.
Forrest Griffin wins by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (185 pounds)
The middleweight championship main event begins with Sonnen scoring a double-leg takedown four seconds into the fight. Sonnen moves to half guard, landing body shots. Sonnen continues to try to advance his position, staying active with elbows and punches. After most of his shots failing to connect solidly, Sonnen finally lands a few hard punches. Sonnen gains full mount with 45 seconds left in the round, dropping his chest on Silva’s head. Sonnen controls position, but cannot do much damage, as the round ends.
Sonnen immediately shoots for another takedown to start round two, but Silva stuffs it. During the clinch battle on the cage, Silva grabs the shorts of Sonnen several times, trying to avoid another takedown. Sonnen lands a left that staggers Silva. When Sonnen tries to follow it up with a takedown, he gets clipped with a right hand by the champ. Clearly dazed, Sonnen attempts a crazy spinning back elbow. Silva easily avoids it, and Sonnen falls to his back. Silva nails Sonnen with a devastating knee to the sternum while on the ground. Sonnen is hurt badly. Sonnen is briefly up, but gets drops again by Silva. Silva lands several solid punches while Sonnen is turtled up, and the referee stops the fight.
Anderson Silva wins by TKO at 1:55 of round two.
Chad Mendes outclassed Cody McKenzie in Mendes’ first fight since his January featherweight title loss to Jose Aldo. With the loss to Aldo being the only blemish on his record, Mendes can easily get back in the title picture with another victory. Aldo, recovering from a leg injury, will face Eric Koch when he is healed-up. This leaves Mendes with possible matchups against fellow top-contenders “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung or Ricardo Lamas.
The Tito Ortiz-Forrest Griffin fight was satisfactory, but nothing special (outside of the drama surrounding Ortiz’s retirement). Dana White said that both fighters “looked old” in the cage on Saturday, as both men gassed-out about halfway through the fight. The crowd (along with Ortiz) believed that Tito did enough to win the fight, with the knockdowns and takedowns. However, Griffin clearly outpointed Ortiz, landing three times as many significant strikes as his opponent. For Ortiz, it is an end to an amazing career. The future for Griffin, who insists he isn’t considering retirement, is less clear. He will never sniff title contention again, but is still popular and relevant in the eyes of the UFC fans. Stephan Bonnar has been clamoring for a third fight with Griffin (even suggesting that they should coach opposite one another on The Ultimate Fighter reality show), which seems feasible.
Anderson Silva cemented his legacy as one of the greatest mixed-martial artists of all time with a convincing finish of Chael Sonnen on Saturday night. After Sonnen dominated cage position in round one, Silva stepped up his takedown defense in round two. The knee on the ground that basically ended Sonnen’s night appeared to be completely legal (despite numerous suggestions to the contrary), basically knocking the wind out of the challenger. Look for my article later this week on where Anderson Silva goes from here.
Sonnen, on the other hand, is at a career crossroads. He’s 35 years old and, like Rich Franklin before him, will likely go to the end of the line after two title fight losses. The weight cut to 185 pounds has looked rough on Sonnen in his last two, possibly due to the testosterone-replacement therapy treatments that he regularly undergoes. At this point in his career, a move to 205 pounds could benefit Chael. A fight against the loser of the Ryan Bader-Lyoto Machida fight on August 4th would be intriguing.