The first round of the fight was vintage Sonnen. He took Silva down immediately and spent the entire round in top position, giving the champion no room to breath. In the second round the tides turned, as Silva was able to hurt Sonnen standing and eventually finish the challenger on the ground.
The victory didn't come without some controversy, however. Before the fight began, Silva had to be wiped down because he took Vaseline from his face and rubbed it on his body. Then in the second round, he held Sonnen's shorts and threw a knee that some believe to be illegal—it was difficult to tell in the replay exactly how or where the knee landed.
Controversy aside, Silva has his record 10th-straight title defense and 15th-straight victory in the UFC.
After accomplishing so much, what's next for the Spider?
Another title defense and as soon as possible—permitting he didn't sustain any injuries in the rematch with Sonnen.
Before UFC 148, Silva hadn't fought in almost a year, and the middleweight division is now starting to bud with contenders.
Tim Boetsch, Michael Bisping and Hector Lombard are all sitting just outside title contention, with former challengers like Rich Franklin and Vitor Belfort not too far behind them. Indeed, there is no shortage of competitors chomping at the bit for a crack at the middleweight crown.
Though there is not currently a consensus No. 1 contender in the middleweight division, Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman are set to face off at UFC on Fuel TV 4, and that bout should provide a clear next-in-line.
Munoz or Weidman is likely next for Silva. Both could pose serious problems to the champion, as they are excellent wrestlers, which has proven to be the one hole in Silva's game.