Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Anderson Silva (left) looks at Chael Sonnen on the ground during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The chaos which would have followed would have made for some of the most interesting moments in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history.
There would have been a man, Sonnen, who represents the opposite of everything lauded in mixed martial arts (MMA), as the middleweight champion of the world. He was cocky, brash, a convicted felon and a bit of a liar.
Had Sonnen won in the main event last night, chaos would have reigned.
Instead, Anderson Silva landed a brutal knee to the body in the second round and finished his arch-rival off, maintaining sanity and normalcy in the 185-pound division.
In doing so, "The Spider" established himself as not only the greatest middleweight fighter ever, but the best fighter of all time. Overall, pound-for-pound, whatever you want you call it, Silva is exactly that.
Silva is the greatest of all time. The GOAT.
Leading up to his first bout with Sonnen, there didn't seem to be much of a challenge for Silva in the middleweight division. He wrecked Rich Franklin two times and seemed to be bored with Patrick Cote and Thales Leites.
When he moved up to 205-pounds, he absolutely killed. He knocked out James Irvin in a minute and absolutely clowned Forrest Griffin at UFC 101. When he put in an awful performance against Demian Maia at UFC 112, UFC President Dana White threatened to fire him if he fought as terrible as he did in Abu Dhabi.
Enter Chael Sonnen.
He talked smacked leading up to his title bout at UFC 117 as any challenger is expected to do. But Sonnen went a step further. He went into full pro wrestling mode in establishing interest in his fight with Silva.
By the time he stepped foot inside the Octagon with Silva in Oakland, almost a million people were interested in seeing if the West Linn, OR native could back up his talk.
For four and a half rounds, he absolutely did.
It wasn't until a fifth round submission that Silva proved himself to be the better fighter. But for two years, Sonnen's mouth kept running and it kept wanting a rematch with Silva.
In that time, both fighters beat two opponents. The champion defended his title against Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami while Sonnen worked his way back to a title shot by defeating Brian Stann and Michael Bisping.
Last night brought one on the most anticipated rematches of all time.
And Silva proved why he's the best.
Like a sniper, he delivered a brutal knee to the body while Sonnen was on the ground. At first glance, it appeared as if "The Spider" landed an illegal knee to a grounded opponent but Silva proved his striking is so precise, so perfect he can land just about anything -- be it punch, elbow or knee -- with the utmost precision.
That knee was the beginning of the end for "The American Gangster."
Despite an awful first round where Sonnen landed a quick takedown and rained down ground and pound, Silva proved himself to be the best 185-pounder on the planet.
There simply isn't any other match, middleweight or otherwise.
Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter we've ever seen.