Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Next Saturday the fruits of a Herculean marketing effort, countless sound bytes, and two years of bad blood, will culminate in what may possibly be the biggest fight in UFC history. But that time is not here yet, so for now, travel back to 2010 with Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen fight video from UFC 117.
It was a balmy autumn night in Oakland when Sonnen (27-11-1) set foot inside the Octagon, a massive underdog buoyed by a pair of victories over Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt, and a trail of unbridled trash talk that had the community buzzing. For months the wrestler told the world he‘d dominate the previously untouchable Silva (31-4), and somehow he did just that, imposing his will for 23 fateful minutes until it all came crashing down. Relieve the classic fight in its entirety below.
For an extra kick of nostalgia, feel free to follow along with the old-school play-by-play from our own Ben Fowlkes.
Round 1: No glove touching here. Sonnen comes straight after Silva and eats a right hand. He tries for a takedown but it isn't there. Sonnen flicks out a leg kick and Silva catches his foot, prompting Sonnen to cartwheel away A right hand from Sonnen stuns Silva. Several more punches from Sonnen also find their mark. The champ actually looks a little bit worried. Sonnen lands a couple punches that Silva doesn't even bother trying to defend, then follows with a takedown. Sonnen works some elbows from the top and Silva rolls to try and escape. Sonnen is all over him on the mat, and most of these shots are getting through. Sonnen steps back and then dives in with a left hand that lands flush. The first round is almost over, and Silva has done nothing so far. The rounds ends with Sonnen in Silva's guard, thoroughly in control. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Sonnen.
Round 2: Silva comes out looking more active to start the second. He chops at Sonnen with a leg kick, but when he tries for another kick Sonnen uses it to put him down again. Silva is holding on in the half-guard, while Sonnen is doing a double ear-box manuever with both his palms. Silva continues holding on and Sonnen uses his body to lift him up and slam his head on the mat several times. Sonnen stays busy in Silva's gull guard now, alternating between covering his mouth and peppering him with short blows. Silva has no answer right now. Sonnen's getting a little careless from the top, and Silva thinks about a triangle choke for a second before relinquishing it. Silva tries to work to his feet against the fence and Sonnen nearly gets caught in a kimura before the round ends. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Sonnen.
Round 3: Sonnen tries for a single-leg right away, but no dice. Silva fires off a spinning back kick to the midsection. Sonnen shoots in against the fence and Silva goes down rather easily before rolling over and giving up his back. This is by far the most vulnerable we've ever seen Silva look in a UFC fight. Silva rolls and recovers full guard. Sonnen bounces his head off the mat with some hammer fists, and Silva looks almost indifferent about the whole thing. Sonnen continues mauling him on into the final minute. Silva has no response. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Sonnen.
Round 4: Sonnen comes jogging out to meet Silva and catches a left hand in the face that backs him up. Silva adds a jumping head kick that staggers him, and suddenly the tables have turned. Silva is coming after Sonnen now and takes him to the mat, working some elbows to the body from the top. Sonnen wraps his arms around Silva's waist and reverses him, planting Silva on his back again. Sonnen is back to work now, doing exactly what he did for the first three rounds, and Silva seems as helpless off his back now as he was then. Silva slips in an elbow strike from the bottom, and Sonnen's face is covered in blood as he gets up at the end of the round. Let's hope that cut isn't cause for a stoppage. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Sonnen.
Round 5: Sonnen fires off a left and a right and Silva's legs go wobbly right at the start of the final round. Sonnen wastes no time jumping on him and trying for an arm triangle choke. Silva escapes, but it still stuck on his back again. Sonnen appears to be three minutes from becoming the new middleweight champ. Sonnen postures up in Silva's guard and throws some lazy body shots. Silva opens his guard and latches on a triangle choke. It's in there tight, and Sonnen falls to his back to defend. Silva starts to add an armbar to the submission, and Sonnen appears to tap once. The referee moves in to stop it, but neither Silva nor Sonnen are acting like it's over. And yet, in bizarre fashion, it is.
Anderson Silva def. Chael Sonnen via submission (triangle choke) at 3:10 of round five.
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