August 7th, 2010 was one of the most shocking days in UFC history.
For the first time in his UFC career, middleweight champion Anderson Silva had his back against the rope. He had been beaten to a pulp for four and a half consecutive rounds. He was on the verge of defeat and being stripped of his long-time title.
But out of nowhere, Silva was able to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in the sport's history as he submitted Chael Sonnen with just two minutes remaining on the clock. It wasn't scripted and it wasn't expected, especially after what he went through the previous 23 minutes.
It was luck.
Like a rabbit out of the hat, Silva found a way to win. It will forever be remembered as arguably his greatest win of all-time. The 'Fight of the Year' demanded a rematch as Sonnen, two years later, was still on a manhunt for UFC gold.
The opening frame went as expected for Sonnen fans as he placed Silva on his back just six seconds into the fight. It was the same story, different day from their first meeting. Sonnen on top of Silva and a world of ground-and-pound surely to come.
Silva remained on his back until the opening round came to a close. This was the sixth straight round that Sonnen had controlled against Silva and he proved it was nothing short of his superior wrestling pedigree.
In the second round, Silva stuffed an early takedown by Sonnen as the two remained on their feet. From there, Sonnen flung for a spinning back-fist and missed, causing him to fall against the cage and down on his back. It was a mistake and a costly one at that.
From there, Silva was able to capitalize on Sonnen's mistake. It wasn't the breaking of Sonnen's teeth that Silva promised, it was an opportunity given to him. It was a mistake that Sonnen would like back.
As we look back on the most anticipated rematch in UFC history, Silva certainly earned his due. He walked away the winner and no one can take that away from him. But one question remains from Silva's 10th straight title defense.
How much of it was luck?