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RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST: (10.0)
I can't very well write, "As long as Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II was the main event for UFC 148, Fedor Emelianenko could've been booked to face Brock Lesnar in a co-main chainsaw match and it would still have been a one fight card," on Wednesday, and then turn around and grade this card based on anything other than the main event, can I? I think not. This was a one fight card, not due to a weak card on paper, but do to the hype of the featured fight.
So, judging on that strict constraint, this is a 10.0. Anytime you get to see the best fighter in the history of the sport do something brilliant, that is lifetime moment. And say what you want, but I'm in this for the moments that will last a lifetime. And the finishing sequence, from Chael Sonnen's spinning backfist (which was the worst spinning strike thrown since Urijah Faber fought Mike Brown the first time) through to the end of the fight will be talked about for decades. So who gaives a damn if the rest of the fight would have been considered weak for Spike.com.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR: (9.0)
Your enjoyment of the undercard depends on your level of tolerance for sloppiness, because that was in abundance tonight. A lot of guys picked up some decent wins, but Cung Le, Melvin Guillard, and Forrest Griffin are no closer to a title shot than they were heading into tonight. It's not like that was ever a consideration, but it also shows the weakness of the undercard.
The fight between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen played out pretty much exactly how I thought it would. I figured Sonnen would win the first round with his wrestling, but without doing much damage. Then I figured that Silva would turn in on in the second round and end it. The guy reaffirmed he's the greatest. I'm not a big fan of the post-fight stuff because it goes against the build-up. We all know the real deal and that's it's all talk, but you shouldn't make it that obvious.
Anyway, the best thing about tonight was that the Chael Sonnen character is dead. There's no way he can come back from this and be as outlandish as he was. Now he can focus on just trying to be a good fighter. He can still trash talk, just not as much or as bizarre.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST: (8.5)
Don't get me wrong this card delivered what we all expected - fiercely contested fights and hair thin decisions. The main event not only gave us a flashback of the original fight two years ago but also showed us the continuous evolution that is Anderson Silva. He came out in round two, stuffed some takedowns delivered a (possibly illegal) knee and put Chael Sonnen out of the title picture possibly for good. Silva showed us his persistence and ability to recover in quick fashion as well as a hardy reminder as to why he's the greatest MMA fighter of all time. On to the co-main event - I thoroughly believe that Tito Ortiz got screwed out of a win to cap off his career as I scored the bout 29-28 in his favor, but also what the hell was Forrest Griffin doing immediately exiting the cage again? His performance was terrible against an opponent he should have easily beat and then he runs again? Something is wrong with how he acts post fight and Dana White ushering him back is sad - he should have just immediately cut him for being so unprofessional. Cung Le won a fantastic fight with Patrick Cote and reminded us all that great takedown defense mixed with fantastic striking is a key to victory I don't know where we will see tonights winners fight next or even who they will oppose but I suggest Maia and Ellenberger, Griffin and Teixeira, Le and Franklin and Silva against Belfort 2. It was a great card and fun night of fights overall well worth the watch!
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR: (7.0)
The Chad Mendes and Cody McKenzie fight was the classic wrestler vs. BJJ fight. Chad Mendes did not need his wrestling to KO McKenzie in 31 seconds of the first round. The KO started with an unbelievable body shot and ended with Mendes finishing with some nice ground and pound. Mendes should get another title shot early next year if he can beat a top five fighter.
The Dong Hyun Kim vs Demian Maia fight was over so quickly I had to watch the replay to see how the fight ended. Maia took Kim down and ended up on top and the fight was immediately stopped. It looked like the take down broke Kim’s ribs. This was an interesting fight for me because it was the first time we got to see Maia at 170. I think he could have an immediate impact at welterweight if he continues to win.
How could you not be excited about the Cung Le vs Patrick Cote fight? Two fighters that love to stand and bang usually makes for an exciting fight. This was Patrick Cote’s first fight back after several fights outside the UFC and Le was still looking for his first win inside the Octagon. Both fighters had a few good exchanges, but mostly this was a slower fight than many had anticipated. It amazes me how many fighters get a second chance in the Octagon and waste it. Cote fought a boring fight and I was disappointed that he did not do more to win this one. Lee won a decision victory and it was well deserved. Cote will undoubtedly hit the regional circuit again and Le will be given another big name on the back side of his career for his next fight. Forrest Griffin vs Tito Ortiz was a historical fight, in that it was the last fight in the hall of fame career of Tito Ortiz. The first round was even except one take down that Ortiz was able to execute. Early in round two Ortiz rocked Griffin with a nice straight right that stunned him for a few seconds. Ortiz also knocked Forrest down in the second round with another nice right hand and wound up in Griffin’s guard. Round three was a very even round as well, that ended with both fighters standing and in a nice exchange. I thought Ortiz had done enough to win the decision victory. When they announced that Forrest had won, I was disappointed in the judges. It was a good fight by both fighters and a nice way for Tito Ortiz to finish his UFC career.
The Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen fight did not live up to any of the hype. Sonnen dominated the first round with his wrestling and ground and pound. In the second Sonnen missed a takedown and fell to the mat. Silva wound up on top and landed one good knee to the body. Silva stopped Sonnen with ground and pound at 3:03 of the second round. The greatest fighter to ever compete in MMA showed why he is the greatest and put an exclamation point on his legacy with this victory.
GRIFFIN MARSH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR: (8.0)
This card would be nothing without the Main Event. No one cared to watch an over the hill fighter face a fighter who hasn't showed much interest in fighting in Tito v. Forrest III. The Cung Le vs. Patrick Cote fight was horrid and Joe Silva should really take a look at himself in the mirror putting together the bouts other than the Main Event. In the main event things went about the way I thought it would. Frank Hyden and I both called second round stoppages. Anderson went out, got taken down, used good jujitsu. In the second round Silva's grappling elevated and chael couldn't do much but eat punches. The knee to the chest took the wind right out of chael and Silva pounded him out like a school yard bully. AGAIN and when I say again I do mean AGAIN....Anderson Silva showed us in the Octagon that he's the best fighter to ever step a foot in a cage. There's Anderson Silva... and there's no one near him in the middleweight division. I'd like to see him retire and go out 15-0 in the UFC. I rate this event an 8 because and only because we saw the best fighter in the world TKO his so called 'toughest challenger.' Other than that, the fight card was poor and the fights showed it. Though I should give a shout out to Forrest Griffin what a crazy dude!
MIKE BACIOR, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR: (7.0)
Entertaining event. Boosted up by the excitement and anticipation of the main event. While there were no epic fights it was not a poor event to watch and I mostly enjoyed it throughout.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST: (8.0)
On the off chance that someone missed the card and is deciding whether or not to buy the replay based on what they read here, let me just say that this card sucked for the most part. The prelims were all awful, the main card picked up a little bit, but this was not the best card the UFC ever put on.
The main event however, was a roller coaster of emotions. Chael came out and got the takedown, couldn't do any damage. From there, the fight really played out like the Anderson Silva-Dan Henderson fight from a few years ago where Silva just came out and destroyed his opponent in the second round.
This really confirms Silva's place as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and the greatest fighter in the history of the sport.
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