Chael Sonnen talked a lot about Anderson Silva in the buildup to their rematch Saturday, but in the end his loss proved that the mouthy middleweight isn't in Silva's league as a fighter.
Sonnen shocked the world when he dominated Silva for four-and-a-half rounds back in August of 2010. While he lost that fight after getting caught in a triangle armbar, the message sent was that Silva could be beaten.
For the better part of the last two years Sonnen has crowed about how he deserved to win that fight and had absolutely dominated Silva. In a way, he was right. He had proven that "The Spider" was vulnerable.
On Saturday night at UFC 148 Sonnen jumped on Silva to open the first round of their rematch, and kept the world's best pound-for-pound fighter on his back for almost all of the first five minutes. It looked like the Oregon native was going to do exactly what he had done in their first fight.
Then at the beginning of the second round, Silva showed why he has long been the best fighter in the world. Rather than panic after an awful showing in the opening round, the Brazilian patiently waited for Sonnen to make a mistake. And he did.
Sonnen attempted a wild spinning back fist, Silva ducked, and the man who might be the greatest trash talker in sports tumbled to the ground. Then Silva pounced.
He leveled Sonnen with a knee to the chest, before landing several hard punches that forced the referee to step in and call a halt to the bout at 1:55 of the second round.
What Silva showed was how smart you have to be to become a champion. He never panicked, he was patient and he waited for Sonnen to do something stupid. And the challenger obliged.
Sonnen may in fact be the world's second-best middleweight, but he's nowhere near the fighter that Silva is.
At 37 years old, Silva continues to sit atop the mixed martial arts world, while Sonnen must now go back to the drawing board and try to work his way back into contention.
He got his second shot at Silva and couldn't capitalize. Maybe he learned a valuable lesson about being smarter and more patient in the octagon.
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