Fans tuning in to Saturday night’s ”UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen” main event likely sat with their mouths ajar throughout the first twenty-three minutes of the bout before having their jaws dropped even further by the fight’s dramatic conclusion.
The action took place at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California and could be seen on PPV.
Chael Sonnen, who many viewed as being more of a mouthpiece than menace entering the match-up, dominated UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva with takedowns and ground-control throughout the duration of four-plus rounds before falling victim to triangle-choke with a little less than three minutes remaining in the fifth. The win was Silva’s seventh successful title defense and his twelfth straight in the Octagon.
Also using high-level wrestling to smother his opponent, though to an ultimately more-successful result than Sonnen, was perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch. As expected, the American Kickboxing Academy product prevented opponent Thiago Alves from utilizing his power and fearsome stand-up by continually taking him down, working from the top, and ultimately grinding his way to a unanimous decision victory. The performance marked Fitch’s fifth win in a row since losing a hard-fought, twenty-five minute war against current 170-pound champion Georges St. Pierre two years ago at UFC 87.
The night was also kind to another welterweight competitor with a background in wrestling – former champ and current UFC Hall of Fame fighter Matt Hughes. The polarizing, iconic Hughes’ third straight win came in surprising fashion, submitting respected BJJer Ricardo Almeida for the first time in the Brazilian’s MMA career courtesy of a unique modified-choke.
A full list of results from the event are below:
Dennis Hallman def. Ben Saunders via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Stefan Struve def. Christian Morecraft via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:22
Tim Boetsch def. Todd Brown via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Johny Hendricks def. Charlie Brenneman via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 0:40
Phil Davis def. Rodney Wallace via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Rick Story def. Dustin Hazelett via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:15
Junior dos Santos def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Matt Hughes def. Ricardo Almeida via submission (modified arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:15
Clay Guida def. Rafael dos Anjos via submission (jaw injury) – Round 3, 1:51
Jon Fitch def. Thiago Alves via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Anderson Silva def. Chael Sonnen via submission (triangle-armbar) – Round 5, 3:10