Completed MMA Bout

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen

Main Event | UFC Middleweight Championship | 185 lbs

Anderson "The Spider" Silva
Chael Sonnen

Round 5

28-4-0   Pro Record At Fight   25-10-1
Climbed to 29-4   Record After Fight   Fell to 25-11-1
-475 (Heavy Favorite)   Betting Odds   +350 (Moderate Underdog)
Champion   Title   Challenger
Brazil   Nationality   United States
Curitiba, Parana, Brazil   Fighting out of   West Linn, Oregon
35 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days   Age at Fight   33 years, 4 months, 4 days
184.5 lbs (83.7 kgs)   Weigh-In Result   185.0 lbs (83.9 kgs)
6'2" (188cm)   Height   6'1" (186cm)
77.5" (197cm)   Reach   74.0" (188cm)
DMX - Ain't No Sunshine   Walkout Music   Daryle Singletary - Too Much Fun
  Gym   American Top Team Portland
UFC 117
  • Bout Information
  • Event: UFC 117: Silva vs Sonnen
  • Date: Saturday 08.07.2010 at 11:00 PM ET
  • Referee: Josh Rosenthal
  • Venue: Oracle Arena
  • Enclosure: Octagon
  • Location: Oakland, California, United States
  • Bout Billing: Main Event (fight 11 of 11)
  • Pro/Am: Professional
  • Weight: 185 lbs (83.9 kg)
  • TV Commentary: Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan
  • Broadcast: Aired Live on Main Card
  • Post-Fight Interviewer: Joe Rogan
  • Silva Total Disclosed Pay: $320,000
  • Sonnen Total Disclosed Pay: $95,000
  • Title on Line: UFC Middleweight Championship
  • Belt Status Before Fight: Held by Silva
  • Event Links:
  • Bout Links:


Silva vs. Sonnen Wiki

For years, Anderson Silva had dominated the UFC middleweight division, and for years, he had consistently been the lowest-drawing champion on the roster in terms of Pay Per View buys. After winning a UFC record 11 straight fights and defending his Middleweight Championship a record six times, his title defense against Chael Sonnen turned into an instant classic.

After defeating three of the top middleweights in the UFC, Chael Sonnen trash-talked his way to a title shot against Silva. The outspoken Oregonian refused to pull any punches as he publicly questioned Silva’s moral, social, and intellectual fiber. While the champion said little in return, fans turned out in droves to purchase the fight to see if Sonnen could back up all of the talk.

Heading into the contest, Silva, the heavy betting favorite, was considered to be the better man in nearly every aspect except wrestling. He was a better striker, a better submission artist, and he was exceedingly difficult to finish. Sonnen, on the other hand, had already been submitted several times in his career, and had a documented habit of losing fights he was winning. But Sonnen was the best pure wrestler Silva had ever faced in his MMA career, and had put Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt on their butts repeatedly in a pair of dominating wins.

For over four and a half rounds in one of the most emotional fights in MMA history, Sonnen backed up all of the talk. He knocked Silva down with an overhand right in the first round and stayed on top the rest of the round, punishing the champion from on top. Throughout the next four rounds, the story would remain the same. Sonnen continuously took Silva down at will and beat on him from every conceivable position and with every available weapon at his disposal. Silva got off some good shots in the opening seconds of most rounds, but ended each one in the same position – on his back, having lost the round.

At one point, Silva, unable to do much from the bottom position, hugged himself close to Sonnen’s body in an effort to avoid punishment. This prompted Sonnen to repeatedly clap Silva on the ears with open palms. According to Fightmetric, Sonnen outlanded Silva 320-64 in terms of total strikes for the duration of the fight.

With less than two minutes left in the final frame, Sonnen needed only to ride out the round on top to become the next middleweight champ. Unfortunately, a mental lapse and a last surge from the champion let him lock in a Triangle Choke/Armbar combination that forced Sonnen to tap out in a dramatic and truly shocking conclusion.

In a fight that actually surpassed the unreal level of hype preceding it, the title fight between Silva and Sonnen represented one of the most heartbreaking and inspiring battles of all time. After dominating his previous 11 opponents, Silva had been brought crashing down to earth for the first time in his UFC career, only to snatch victory away from the jaws of defeat at the last possible instant. As UFC President Dana White commented after the fight, “these are the fights that make legends.”

Last updated 09.26.2012, 11:24 PM ET
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Videos & Highlights

    Highlight  |  Silva vs. Sonnen UFC 117 Post Fight Video Analysis by Gracie Breakdown report dead link

    Gracie brothers Ryron Gracie and Rener Gracie analyze the BJJ in UFC 117's championship, Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, in this post UFC 117 analysis video.

  • Interview  |  Chael Sonnen sounds off on Anderson Silva report dead link

    Watch this candid video interview with Chael Sonnen on his UFC 117 fight versus Anderson Silva.

  • Interview  |  Chael Sonnen talks about fighting Anderson Silva report dead link

    Watch this video interview with Chael Sonnen as he discusses fighting Anderson Silva.

  • Interview  |  Anderson Silva video interview for Chael Sonnen report dead link

    Watch this video interview with Anderson Silva as he talks about his UFC 117 fight versus Chael Sonnen.

  • Interview  |  Dancing with Anderson Silva report dead link

    Ariel Helwani dances with Anderson Silva before UFC 117 fight.

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