Silva vs Sonnen Results: Breaking Down the FightMetric Numbers

Craig AmosFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 7:   Anderson Silva reacts to the crowd during UFC 148 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

When you read that "Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen via TKO at 1:55 of Round 2," you form a certain impression of what must have happened in the fight. 

The reported fight-numbers, however, shatter any expectation based upon that result, and numbers, as they say, never lie.

Only in this case, they clearly do lie. The fight statistics reported by Fight Metric tell the tale of a very one-sided contest, though not for the competitor you would expect. Sonnen dominated much of Saturday night's fight, but still ended up on the losing end.  

Read on for a statistical analysis of each round from Silva-Sonnen II.


Round 1

The first round of UFC 148's headliner was a one-sided domination that saw Silva unable to mount any sort of offense, spending the full five minutes warding off Sonnen's onslaught.

By no means was it a difficult round to score, unless you were debating whether it should go as 10-9 or 10-8 in Sonnen's favor.

Given that Silva stopped Sonnen in the next round, the scoring is irrelevant, though the extent to which Sonnen controlled the match highlights just how much trouble Silva looked to be in.

Silva landed ZERO strikes, attempting just two. He also scored no takedowns, stopped no takedowns and allowed Sonnen to improve position twice. And though there was ample time for the Brazilian to change his fortunes on the mat, he was unable to get a reversal.


Sonnen landed 76-of-86 strikes (14-of-21 significant strikes), scored one takedown and improved position on the ground twice.

Sonnen may not have done a lot of damage, but rounds don't come much more one-sided than that. I mean, no big deal, but Sonnen fought the most dangerous striker in the world for five minutes and was not hit a single time.

Round 2

Keep in mind that Round 2 consisted of only 1:55.

Silva notched 16 landed strikes in 29 attempts, 15 of which were deemed significant. This output was an increase of...16 from Round 1.

It is noteworthy that Silva was able to land more significant strikes in the 1:55 of Round 2 than Sonnen was able to land in the full five minutes of Round 1, despite working ground-and-pound the entire time.

Sonnen countered Silva's Round 2 output by landing 11-of-19 strikes, eight of which were significant.

Perhaps the most important difference in Round 2, aside from Silva landing more than zero strikes, came in the takedown department. Sonnen was unable to bring the fight to the mat in three tries, which forced him into a slugfest with Silva.

What the stats fail to display is the number of aerial 360 spinning back-fists landed and attempted. Sonnen, of course, was 0-of-1.



The stats suggest that Sonnen may have owned a two point lead entering the second round of UFC 148's main event. They also suggest that up until the point when Sonnen was knocked out, Round 2 was not definitively in the bag for Silva.

In total, Silva needed just 16 strikes to finish Sonnen, while receiving 87. 

Though you won't see it in any statistical account of the match, Silva-Sonnen II was decided by the same numerical indicator as the first fight—mistakes made and mistakes capitalized on. 

In both fights Sonnen made one big mistake and Silva capitalized.

The first time, Sonnen left an arm in Silva's guard and was submitted. The second time, Sonnen tried to get fancy on the feet and was knocked out for his efforts.

Mistakes made at UFC 148: Sonnen 1, Silva 1 (for fun, let's count coming out over-aggressive)

Mistakes capitalized on at UFC 148: Sonnen 0, Silva 1