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UFC 117: Silva vs Sonnen Main Card Recap

Anderson Silva Shows Weakness, Pulls Through In The End With Submission Over Chael Sonnen

Anderson Silva successfully defended his middleweight championship against Chael Sonnen with a dramatic fifth round submission. Sonnen controlled the pace on the ground with his wrestling... and also on the standup. In a move that surprised everyone except for, apparently, Chael Sonnen, Silva was bested and rocked on the feet in every round except for the last. Sonnen landed numerous takedowns and rained down punch after punch throughout the fight.

Going into the fifth round, Sonnen was ahead four rounds, with Silva arguably getting 8 or less in the first round. Sonnen took him down and worked him some more, but Silva hit him with some good elbows and a punch from the bottom, before locking on a triangle. Sonnen appeared to tap, but also appeared to try and continue fighting after the half-tap. It was to no avail, as Silva got the win late in the fifth, after surely being down in all five rounds.

Sonnen, who talked more than his fair share of game for the fight, appeared to back it up throughout the fight. He took the fight to Silva and dominated him. He showed that he is one of the best in the world at his weight class. It's a win for Silva, but one has to wonder how good he feels about it. In the post-fight interview, he talked about being injured going into the fight. Silva got down on his knees and bowed to Sonnen, and the two hugged and exchanged words.

The word is that Vitor Belfort will get the next shot at the middleweight title, but again, one has to wonder if a rematch is in the works considering the domination for 23 of the 25 minutes.

Fitch Reps Bay Area And Beats Thiago Alves By Unanimous Decision

Jon Fitch used solid clinch striking, dominating top control and great takedowns to control Thiago Alves for three rounds. Fitch peppered him on the ground and held his back for most of the fight, Alves really only landed a few strikes in the third round.

Alves looked tired after the first round, and Fitch used his deep gas tank to hold the heavier Alves down. Thiago had issues cutting weight, and actually missed weight (and forefeited 20% of his pay) and it definitely showed in the fight that it affected him. He looked tired and discouraged throughout the fight, and it was a textbook win for Jon Fitch, who reportedly has earned the next shot at either Georges St-Pierre or Josh Koscheck for the welterweight title in the future.

Matt Hughes Returns To Form And Submits Ricardo Almeida In Grudge Match

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes looked the part on Saturday night, scoring on the feet and looking like a young lion again. Almeida isn't a world beater, but Hughes, at least athletically, looked like he can continue to compete at welterweight. 

Late in the first, Hughes is rocked and shows fantastic recovery with a left hook, knocking Almeida to the ground and pouncing on him in the sprawl position, before securing a choke and putting "Big Dog" to sleep. After the fight, Hughes shook hands and hugged the members of the Gracie camp.

Clay Guida Injures Rafael Dos Anjos, Secures Submission

In an explosive contest, Clay Guida and Dos Anjos went at it for three rounds before a victor was decided. Early in the first, the two exchanged blows and Guida seemed to have the edge, despite eating a couple head and leg kicks. Guida hit him with a mean one-two combo and dos Anjos was considerably bothered throughout the fight. It was revealed later that dos Anjos hurt his jaw bad.

With the first round likely going to dos Anjos, Guida turned the heat on, securing takedowns and landing strike after strike. He took the second, and in the third landed strike after strike before getting the final takedown. From half guard, Guida places his shoulder against dos Anjos jaw up against the cage and pushes into him, netting the tap.

Junior Dos Santos Earns Unanimous Decision Over Roy Nelson And Earns Title Shot

In what I believe is the fight of the night, (but was just confirmed as NOT the FOTN) Junior dos Santos boxed Roy Nelson for three rounds. It wasn't completely smooth sailing for JDS. Nelson landed shot after shot on the unguarded JDS, but it wasn't enough.

Even more impressive was Nelson not going out. JDS hit him with the same hits that put guys like Fabricio Werdum, Gilbert Yvel and Gabriel Gonzaga out cold, and Nelson continued to fight on. Nelson showed, if anything, that he belongs with the big dogs and the heavyweights of the UFC, but it wasn't enough to stop the fight train that is Junior dos Santos.

Dos Santos now reportedly is lined up for a title shot with either Brock Lesnar or Cain Velasquez.