32 career victories, 15 UFC wins and 10 straight title defenses.
Those are the staggering numbers that long-time UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has provided us with over the years. Since his entry fight against Chris Leben in June of 2006, Silva has been nothing short of spectacular.
He's defeated every obstacle that's been placed in front of him and has defeated some of the world's top contenders in Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. Not only did "The Spider" defeat these opponents, but he did it the way he wanted to. In fact, Silva has controlled nearly every round of every fight since joining forces with the world's top promotion.
This rule of principle applies to every opponent except one man.
For whatever reason, Silva has struggled against Sonnen. In just one meeting, Silva was taken down and hit more than all of his other UFC fights combined. Sonnen had his number, despite falling short in their historical bout at UFC 117.
Sonnen was rewarded a second chance at Silva's belt while Silva had the opportunity to prove the first time around was a mere fluke. It had to be, right? There's no way the world's greatest mixed martial artist could have been placed on his back and beaten black and blue for 23 minutes, right?
When the action began in the most anticipated rematch in UFC history, Sonnen proved it was far from a fluke as he placed Silva on his back just six seconds into Round 1.
Silva never returned to his feet except to return to his corner between rounds. When the bell sounded for Round 2, Sonnen opened up for a spinning back-fist that missed the target. Sonnen's failed attempt sent him up against the Octagon and to the ground.
Once again, Sonnen opened a narrow window for Silva to capitalize on, and, he did. It will go down as arguably the biggest mistake ever made in a UFC contest. When have we ever seen Sonnen look for a spinning back-fist? It turns out the mistake cost Sonnen the bout, allowing Silva to once again hold on to his precious UFC title.
So, you make the call—Was this more of a Silva win or a Sonnen mistake?