On Saturday August 7, 2010, in Oakland, California, the Ultimate Fighting Championship – UFC 117 slated the fight Chael Sonnen vs Anderson Silva. This was a highly promoted and much anticipated fight against to middleweight contenders, with Silva fighting to save his title. In the controversial lead up to this fight Sonnen had announced he was ready to “retire” Silva. Originally, this seemed like a stretch for Sonnen as Silva had defeated his last 11 opponents.
For the first twenty-three minutes, according to all the judges scorecards, Chael Sonnen was in the top position and easily won every round. At 3:10 into the fifth round Anderson Silva, after a surprising move, took the win from Sonnen using a triangle arm bar, as the ref jumped in and called the fight. The upset was unexpected, and both men appeared not ready to give up the fight.
Through all of the first 4 1/2 rounds Chael Sonnen’s plan of attack seem to be giving him a winning victory with a clear-cut unanimous decision. Most notably, many times in standup exchanges during the event, Silva staggered after being roughed up by Sonnen.
The surprise came when in the late half of the last round, after Chael had been throwing numerous body shots around Silva’s guard, “The Spider” Silva struck back. After capturing Sonnen in a sudden triangle choke off his back, Chael tried to defend himself by attempting to fall backwards and use his legs. His attempts to regain top position were futile and only lasted a few moments. Reaching up, Sonnen touched Silva’s leg once, stopping the fight.
Surprising nearly everyone, Silva accomplished what was thought to be an impossible feat after what he had just experienced over the course of the last twenty-three minutes. Had Silva not taken advantage of one of the few mistakes Sonnen had made during the fight, victory might not have been his. For Sonnen, what had started out to be a near perfect fight ended in incredible disappointment.
At the end of the fight Sonnen told reporters he is ready for a rematch, and doesn’t need time to heal. According to UFC president Dana White there has yet to be a decision made on whether Sonnen will get another chance to fight Silva anytime soon. Rumor has it that Viktor Belfort should get the next shot at the middleweight title, as he was already slated to fight Silva in a championship fight before suffering an injury.