Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen I, UFC 117, 7 August 2010
Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen II, UFC 148, 7 July 2012
From 2006 to 2013, the UFC Middleweight division was dominated by one of the best MMA fighters of all time, Anderson “The Spider” Silva. He surgically and systematically destroyed every single opponent the UFC put in front of him, defending his Middleweight Title 10 successive times. He destroyed Rich Franklin with knees. He rained elbows down on Travis Lutter while having him in a triangle. He choked Dan Henderson out with a rear naked choke. He even danced his way to victory against Demian Maia. It got to a point where Anderson Silva and the Middleweight division started getting boring to watch. Anderson Silva made every single fighter in the division look like they didn’t have the talent and the training to compete.
Every fight against Anderson Silva ended the same, they were no longer interesting to watch. Until Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen. Chael Sonnen is a good fighter but he isn’t great. He has wins against top middleweights at the time like Dan Miller and perennial division contender Yushin Okami. Chael would usually leverage his superior wrestling to edge out a win by unanimous decision. With his wins agains Yushin Okami, Nate Marquardt, and Dan Miller, as well as a golden tongue of talent in promoting himself, Chael talked himself into a fight against the champion Anderson Silva.
Fight fans knew what they were going to get. Anderson Silva, this king of combat, this killer in the cage. Against an above average wrestling based loud mouth in Chael Sonnen. For sure Anderson was going to destroy another contender. Knees, elbows, taking the back, figure four body lock, rear naked choke.
But at UFC 117, Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen, we got one of the most incredible jaw dropping fights in the middleweight division yet. Anderson, the god of MMA, this invincible being was systematically taken down and roughed up. Chael Sonnen applied a heavy pressure game from inside Anderson’s guard. He controlled Anderson Silva’s wrists and landed sneaky punches. He did it for 5 rounds straight. This was Chael, using his wrestling to edge out a win against one of the greatest fighters in MMA history.
One of my most memorable fights. I remember clearly. I was on my feet with my mouth wide open for the entire fight. Watching with my rooms mates in our small Jersey City apartment. An incredible moment in MMA, Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen was when Chael put his mark on MMA and showed the world that Anderson Silva is after all, human.
Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen I full fight video
Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen II full fight video