Round one of the long-anticipated rematch between UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen seemed to dispel all rumors that their first bout was a fluke. Sonnen quickly took Silva down, and though the champion did a better job of protecting himself from damage in the first fight, Sonnen never gave up top position and even advanced to the mount in the final minute.

But round two played out far differently than it did in August 2010. Sonnen’s takedowns were suddenly ineffective, as Anderson Silva utilized remarkably improved takedown defense to keep the fight standing. And as anyone with even a hint of mixed martial arts familiarity knows, if the fight stays on the feet, you do not want to be opposite Anderson Silva.

With brilliant head and food movement, Silva can be just as dangerous defensively as he is offensively. And it was that defensive ability that led to the fight’s conclusion. Silva used his movement to evade a wild Sonnen spinning backfist, and the momentum caused Sonnen to stumble to the ground. The Champion followed up with a crushing knee to the body and a series of punches, effectively bringing Sonnen to the end of his rope.

Sonnen did manage to get back to his feet, but he was clearly weakened by the prior assault, and a few more strikes sent Sonnen back to the mat, where Silva delivered punches until the referee waved it off.

Following the second round TKO victory, a gracious Anderson Silva replaced the one who had viciously threatened to break Chael’s face and teeth in a media interview. This one asked the Brazilian fans to applaud Sonnen’s effort, and he even referenced Sonnen’s long-running “steak” bit by humorously inviting the challenger to a barbecue at his house in Brazil.

A defeated, crushed Sonnen offered little of his trademark wit after the fight, instead focusing on the fact that he had been given the opportunity to win and simply could not do so.

Results from UFC 148
Rafaello Oliveira b. Yoislandy Izquierdo via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Shane Roller b. John Alessio via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Constantinos Philippou b. Riki Fukuda via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Khabib Nurmagomedov b. Gleison Tibau via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Melvin Guillard b. Fabrício Camões via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Mike Easton b. Ivan Menjivar via UD (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Chad Mendes b. Cody McKenzie via TKO (punches) at :31 of Round One
Demian Maia b. Dong Hyun Kim via TKO (rib injury) at :47 of Round One
Cung Le b. Patrick Cote via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Forrest Griffin b. Tito Ortiz via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Anderson Silva b. Chael Sonnen via TKO (punches) at 1:55 of Round Two to retain the UFC MW Championship

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