We need to delve into the past for this one, August 7th 2010 to be precise. It’s UFC 117 and the main event is Anderson Silva, the current undisputed middleweight champion, coming up against the excellent wrestler, Chael Sonnen.
Silva had been on an 11 fight winning streak prior to this fight so he was considered to be the heavy favourite and to retain his title. The game plan had been clear from Sonnen and his team, to use his wrestling background to his advantage and get the fight to the ground to minimize striking exchanges, where Silva was incredibly illusive and skilled.
For four rounds, Sonnen attempted to take Silva down as quickly as he could in order to strike him from top position. The striking differences from both fighters show the dominance of Sonnen, at least until the end of the fourth round, with Sonnen landing 320 strikes throughout the fight compared to Silva’s paltry 64.
It seemed like this was the end of Silva’s reign as middleweight champion. The bell rang for the start of round 5, Sonnen clipped Silva with an overhand right that sent him to the canvas, where Sonnen started attacking from top position. But, remarkably, Silva was able to somehow choke Sonnen out to win the fight. Anderson Silva retained his middleweight title, setting an unmatched record at the time of 12 straight wins in the UFC.