Chael Sonnen: 'I broke Anderson Silva at UFC 148, but he still came back and destroyed me'

Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Chael Sonnen on the ground against Anderson Silva during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Why does Chael Sonnen have "so much respect" for Anderson Silva?

Probably because "The Spider," who stopped the middleweight number one contender in the second round of their UFC 148 title fight back on July 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, was able to do something to him that no one has ever done before.

That's according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, who told The Jim Rome Show about a private conversation he had with Sonnen following the "Silva vs. Sonnen 2" press conference on the heels of last weekend's pay-per-view event at the MGM Grand.

Here's what he said:

"This is what Chael Sonnen said to me after the fight. He didn't say it at the press conference, but he said it to me. He said, 'I have so much respect for this guy, Dana. I've been competing in combat sports since I was seven years old. In that first round, when I was on top of him, hittin' him with those big elbows, I felt him break. I broke him in that first round. He came back in the second round and destroyed me. I've never seen anybody do that, ever.'"

This is the second time in his career that Silva has endured punishment from Sonnen, only to come back and secure a finish. The first came at UFC 117 back in August 2010, when the Brazilian pulled off a fifth-round submission to retain his title.

But his win at UFC 148 did not come without controversy.

Aside from an extra helping of Vaseline and a few tugs of the trunks, a knee to the breadbasket prompted some members of the fight community, along with a select few from the Sonnen camp, to cry foul and demand an immediate rematch.

Those efforts, at least for now, appear to be fruitless.

If we take Sonnen's post-fight comments to Dana, including the ones he made here, then it sounds like the "American Gangster" knows he was soundly defeated and will return to the 185-pound rank and file empty handed.

See how it all went down by clicking here.

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