One of the most exciting main events in UFC history is in the books and Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen deserve all the credit in the world for putting on an incredible fight at UFC 117 over the weekend in Oakland. Silva left the octagon victorious, but the fight left many wondering if Sonnen was in fact the best 185 lbs fighter in the world.
From opening bell until 3:10 in the 5th round Sonnen battered, bruised and beat up Silva so badly that final numbers showed Sonnen landing most strikes on Silva in all of Silva’s previous UFC fights combined. An impressive accomplishment indeed. Even more impressive is that unless your last name was Sonnen you gave Chael exactly a 0% chance to even come close to Anderson’s belt Saturday night.
In the end Silva pulled off a miracle submission in the 5th round. Another submission loss for Sonnen, one that he called “heartbreaking” at the post fight interview. It was his fight to lose until 2 minutes left in the final round. It must have felt like a dream for the former Olympic wrestler from Oregon – beating the champion senseless for 23 minutes, only have to it snatched away in one flick of Silva’s long limbs.
But you have to wonder if Sonnen proved on Saturday night that he is fact the best fighter at 185 lbs in the world. Despite the loss, he was completely dominate for 99% of the fight and although he left Oakland Saturday night without the belt, make no mistake about it, he was the better fighter that night. He was better than the guy who everyone regards as the best in the world.
There is an old paradox in MMA. “He was dominating right up until the time when he lost.” This couldn’t be more true in the case of Sonnen. The weekend is over and Silva still has the belt, but we have to wonder if Chael proved Saturday night that he is the best fighter in his weight class in the world.
Photo courtesy of MMAJunkie.com