On Fourth of July weekend people all across the United States will celebrate their independence by barbequing and lighting fireworks throughout the night in one of the most celebrated American traditions. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada is no different.
If you've ever been to Vegas on the Fourth of July, you know that "Sin City," puts on one heck of a fireworks display on the infamous Las Vegas Strip that can be seen for miles on end all the way across the Mojave Desert.
This year, however, the strip will be filled with fireworks in more ways than one.
That's because the much-anticipated rematch that is two years in the making will finally go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Anderson Silva will defend his title one more time against Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, which his set to go down on July 7, 2012.
Before the two 185-pound elite mixed martial artist (MMA) rivals hit the strip for their rematch, Sonnen reflected back to that fateful night UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif., where he was literally minutes away from dethroning one of the longest reigning champions in the history of the UFC, or MMA for that matter, in his first encounter with "The Spider."
Appearing on "The Joe Rogan Experience" with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, Sonnen recounts with great detail the "devastating" loss in his "Fight of the Year" against Silva that occurred on Aug, 7, 2010.
Check it out:
"It was devastating, I had no idea what happened in that fight, none. When the fight was over, I was devastated. I came to, and I said to the ref, you know the typical thing like a doofus, 'What happened?' The referee, Josh Rosenthal, is a fantastic referee, simply says, 'You tapped out.' And he looks at me for a response like I was going to argue, and I simply say, 'I believe you.' Now, I knew that because ESPN zoomed in on it and showed it. But that's all I said was, 'I believe you.' I remember falling asleep, it's a very weird experience you know, when you're actually going to sleep but you're trying to stay within reality, and I remember having a dream thinking, "Well if I tap I can get out of this, nah, let's not tap. The fight was over. I had already tapped, I hit his foot and I really didn't fully know what happened. When it was over and I came too, I didn't fully know what happened, I was trying to figure out what just happened. So, aside from being choked, don't forget, I got fatigue issues, I got blood and Vaseline in my eyes, I have exhaustion, I have anxiety. I'm a normal human being, I feel every emotion. So many people say to me, 'Oh you're never scared.' Come on, I'm a human, I feel it all. So, I lose the fight, we got to the back and they bring me the Fight of the Night check. They pay you immediately if you get a bonus. Boom, here's your check. And I remember thinking, 'You gave me this out of sympathy because that was such a boring fight, nothing happened, you gave it out of sympathy, I'll take it. I'm fighting back the tears, I'm just devastated, I'm absolutely devastated by this defeat. Later the fight gets Fight of The Year from Fighters Only Magazine. So, it ended up being a really good fight. But the point I'm trying to make is , that is how out of touch I was with what was happening in the ring. At one point, my corner told me it was round five when it was round four or it was round four when it was round three, whatever it was, the corner had the rounds off. I just didn't fully know what was going on. In this next fight, I'd like to, as I visualize and plan for it, that's one of the things, I'd like to be a little more aware and in touch with what's happening. But it's hard, it's hard in the Octagon man. A lot of stuff goes out the window, you get hit, you get kicked, it's tough. It's tough to stay focused."
Sonnen will have the chance to learn from his mistake(s) from UFC 117 and look to defeat one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the sport and in the process, put an end to one of the longest lasting rivalries in recent memory.
Can he prevail this time around? Or will history repeat itself in Las Vegas?
One thing is certain, this fight -- unlike some poorly-made fireworks that will more than likely fail to go off -- will not be a dud.