By MATT BOONE
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Welcome to our live round-by-round coverage of the UFC 117 “Silva vs. Sonnen.”
Make sure to check out the action as it happens live here at MMANews.com on this page throughout the evening.
You can also visit the MMANews.com Forums for alternate UFC 117 coverage with ongoing discussion from other die-hard MMA fans.
-Dennis Hallman def. Ben Saunders via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) after 3 Rounds.
-Stefan Struve def. Christian Morecraft via TKO (strikes) at 0:22 of Round 2.
-Tim Boetsch def. Todd Brown via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after 3 Rounds.
-Johny Hendricks def. Charlie Brenneman via KO (punches) at 0:40 of Round 2.
-Phil Davis def. Rodney Wallace via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) after 3 Rounds.
-Rick Story def. Dustin Hazelett via TKO (strikes) at 1:15 of Round 2.
-Junior Dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson
Round 1: That was about a one-sided round as you can get until the final minute or so. Dos Santos literally picked Nelson apart, dropping him flat on his ass and back multiple times during the round with his hands. Near the end of the round, Nelson was tagging Dos Santos a bit, and really getting the crowd into the fight. Still, Dos Santos appears to be in complete control.
Round 2: This is turning into an absolute war. Dos Santos would control the opening minute or two of the round with the same ease as the previous frame, until Nelson started tagging him again with wild shots. From there on, it seemed Dos Santos was getting tired to the point he couldn't finish the job. Nelson started to make a big run at one point, even bloodying Dos Santos' eye, but by the end of the round, Dos Santos was beating on Nelson to the point you would wonder how he's still standing, let alone fighting back.
Round 3: My dear god. What a fight. It went the distance. Pretty much the same story in this round, just with two rounds in the bank already, giving it added drama. Big Country is the toughest, most stubborn guy I've seen since the breed of Cabbage, Fujita, Takayama, etc. Dos Santos was tagging him with huge shots and slick combos, from start to finish, working a bit more to the body than the previous two rounds. As the theme established earlier in the fight, Nelson would again follow suit, time-to-time seeming to be unable to remain standing due to punishment, and then from nowhere a punch that would mame a middle-aged gorilla would come at Dos Santos' grill. Nelson took a lot of punishment, but he literally DEFINED that expression you hear about how you can win more fans/respect in a loss. What a fight.
Junior Dos Santos def. Roy Nelson via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) after 3 Rounds.
UFC 118 Hype:
The television commercial for UFC 118 aired, and you can tell after one viewing that it's a commercial that will be all over the place leading into that show.
They went more in-depth, having Joe Rogan interview Randy Couture live at cageside in Oakland for UFC 118 pre-fight hype, going into more details about the subject of MMA vs. Boxing, which UFC seems very comfortable leaning on as a promotional tool for this show. Rightfully so, I might add.
The announce team broke down the UFC 118 main events for another minute or two in a transitional piece, as we head to our next live fight.
-Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida
Round 1: For those who keep track of this type of stuff, Hughes is an enormous babyface for whatever reason tonight. The first note of his country music entrance got an eruption from the crowd, as did his Bruce Buffer intro. Both guys are circling early, and we're nearing the two minute mark of the round with not a whole lot happening yet. It seems as though Hughes does indeed plan to stand. Almeida seems to have similar ideas, but neither guy has yet to do anything. Just as I say that, Almeida is slowly putting some nice strikes together here. He's all footwork this round as is, and is now touching Hughes on the inside with some nice punches. Hughes doesn't seem to have any adjustments yet. Hughes just dropped Almeida out of nowhere with a punch. Almeida dives in on Hughes, still wobbly from the knockdown, and Hughes locks in a front headlock on him. Hughes transitions to a bully-type triangle choke with his hands out of a school-yard headlock. The UFC Hall Of Famer Matt Hughes has a lot to celebrate tonight. He hasn't had that impressive of a victory in a while. It was also Hughes' 18th octagon win, a UFC record according to Mike Goldberg.
Matt Hughes def. Ricardo Almeida via Submission (inverted triangle choke) at 3:15 of Round 1.
-Clay Guida vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
Round 1: Since we're doing fan appreciation checks, it should be noted Guida just got received as if he was the Brock Lesnar of pure-good guys in the UFC. Oakland loves this dude, wow. Bell rings, out they come, and much like the weigh-ins a gutteral “Guida, Guida” chant breaks out. Both guys engage now with the hands, committing with bad intentions. Guida lands a partial head kick on Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos is taking apart the legs of Guida now with low kicks. He gets a little over-focused on the lower attack, which allows Guida to land a very nice combo on Dos Anjos with the hands. Dos Anjos was momentarily stunned a bit from that exchange. Guida is working a takedown now, while Dos Anjos slowly secures a grip around the neck of Guida with all of his spastic moves. We're at the half-way point of the round now. Both guys stay clinched against the cage in a stalemate for too long, and the crowd lets them hear it. Finally some distance is created and Dos Anjos uses this space to fire away at Guida with a variety of kicks, knees and punches. Dos Anjos is turning up the offensive levels now a bit, to good results. Dos Anjos takes Guida down with a big takedown near the end of the round. Guida never stops moving, and they scramble back to their feet as the horn sounds to end the round.
Round 2: Guida comes in more aggressivley pursuing his offense early in the second round. Guida is bouncing around as he did in the first round, and every other round he fights in, but he's putting strikes together when he closes the distance, and is at this point winning this round so far. Enormous “let's go Guida” chant breaks out from the crowd. Loud enough that Rogan and Goldberg had to acknowledge it. The action is slowing down a bit again as we head into the late-night hours. Guida is so far taking less punishment this round, but this is also turning into the first boring Guida round in history. Why did I even say that? Guida blazes through Dos Anjos for a big takedown with two minutes left in the round. From his back, Dos Anjos looks to lock in a leg submission. Guida defends well. Dos Anjos is amazingly busy with movement from the bottom position. Somewhere along the lines, while on the ground in top position, Guida's face was busted open. He's bleeding all over Dos Anjos' chest. Meanwhile, Dos Anjos is coming really close with submission attempt after submission attempt. The bell sounds there. Should be an interesting decision if this goes the full distance.
Round 3: This round is following the pattern of the fight as well. Both guys are being overly aggressive, leaving a number of opportunities for each guy to exploit. Guida erupts with a big scoop-slam takedown after a couple of failed regular takedown attempts. Guida moves Dos Anjos closer to the cage and is in his half guard. Guida just moves slightly, no submission hold or strike of any kind used, and Dos Anjos taps out. Complete mystery to me still. Replays didn't show a whole lot, but Rogan and Goldberg are saying on commentary that Dos Anjos is complaining of a broken jaw in the cage. Either way, Guida picks up a nice win and the crowd loved it regardless of how it came. They really dig Guida in Oakland.
Clay Guida def. Rafael Dos Anjos via Submission (verbal tapout) at 1:51 of Round 3.
-Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves
Round 1: Alright this fight is going to the cage now. They just showed Struve-Morecraft. That was an unbelievable fight by the way, with an out-of-this-world finish. Go out of your way to see it. Fitch-Alves time. And the round went pretty much how you'd expect it: long feeling out process, etc. Turning into a typical Jon Fitch fight.
Round 2: Not a terribly exciting round here either. 90% of the round was on the ground with Fitch in top position. He didn't do a whole lot offensively from the top. Alves sweeped him at one point and backed up to return to the feet. The round ended after that.
Round 3: We got a little action in this round for a change. Still, nothing incredible. Fitch and Alves spent some time exchanging strikes on the feet early, until Fitch had seen enough and starting going for takedowns. Alves defended a few, but Fitch eventually got him down off a scramble. Fitch had mount and went for a few submissions, staying more effectively busy here than the previous two rounds.
Jon Fitch def. Thiago Alves via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after 3 Rounds.
-Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
Round 1: Amazing round. Sonnen had Silva on wobbly legs hanging on for dear life after landing a huge punch on the feet. Sonnen would go on to land some more crucial shots before taking Silva to the mat. From this point on, Sonnen just dominated the shit out of Silva on the ground until the end of the round. Lots of big elbows and punches.
Round 2: Silva starts the second frame out trying some leg kicks for a change. That plan didn't work out too well either, as Sonnen would catch one of the kicks and use it to take Silva to the ground. Sonnen was double-hand bitch-slapping Silva on the sides of his head on the ground. He'd also just repeatedly slam the back of Silva's head into the mat — hard, like a crazy person. Silva went for an armbar and a leglock near the end of the round, but it was no dice in both instances.
Round 3: Silva lands a good punch and a spinning back-kick on Sonnen to open the third. Sonnen immediately takes Silva down after that. The rest of the round would see Silva fighting from his back, mostly trying to stay defensive and avoid the onslaught from Sonnen. Sonnen stayed busy, landing strikes and advancing positions a few times. Sonnen is running away with this one!
Round 4: Silva had some of his best moments of the fight early here in the fourth. He caught Sonnen with a few different strikes that definitely got Sonnen's attention. So much so that Sonnen would go on to pull guard just to get his shit together. He did just that, and as soon as he did he swept Silva and took top position. He's really fighting a great fight. He could maybe back off a bit, and just grind out the decision, but he seems incredibly eager to finish this fight. Silva landed an elbow from the bottom that cut Sonnen open pretty bad near the end of the round. Sonnen's face was covered in blood as he went to his corner.
Round 5: Sonnen comes out with his cut cleaned up a bit, although it still looks pretty bad. Doubt they'll stop it though. Whoa! Sonnen decks Silva with a punch! Silva is down and Sonnen is going ape-shit trying to finish things up. Silva slaps a triangle choke on Sonnen from the bottom. It looks tight immediately. He pulls the foot to tighten it up and pulls down on the head. Sonnen taps! Holy shit! Sonnen is complaining and seemingly telling the ref he didn't tap. Replays show otherwise, although you could argue he was just grabbing his own arm, which Silva had a hold of as well inside the submission lock. That has to be one of the biggest come-from-behind wins in history. Sonnen couldn't have come any closer if he tried. If he would've survived another minute and 50 seconds, we'd have a new champion and a big shake-up in the pound-for-pound rankings. Both guys look beat up pretty damn bad after this one was over.
Anderson Silva def. Chael Sonnen via Submission (triangle choke) at 3:10 of Round 5 to retain his UFC middleweight title.
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