Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White told media members and fans in the weeks and days leading up to last night's (Sat., July 7, 2012) UFC 148: "Silva vs. Sonnen 2" event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, that his company's projections had the show doing the most successful numbers in history.
But could such a heavily hyped showdown possibly live up to its billing?
Of course it could, and it did. Not only did we see yet another definitive finish -- Silva stopping Sonnen in the second round via sniper like strikes so accurate your brain can hardly comprehend it -- but we got a little extra flavor of controversy to spice up the fallout.
You didn't think this fight would come and go without it, did you?
Silva fans are celebrating their victory while Sonnen fans are loudly crying foul. The knee on the ground "The Spider" landed to start the finishing sequence was illegal, they say. So was the fence grabbing and shorts holding and greasing and almost anything else you can think of.
This ignores Sonnen's transgressions -- like hitting Silva in the back of the head on the ground in round one -- while also passing off his post-fight comments that Silva won fair and square and all is well in West Linn, Oregon.
You know, save for their still not being a middleweight championship there. Not a real one, at least.
And so Silva has finally vanquished his most challenging foe while Sonnen is left to wonder just how far his pro wrestling schtick can get him going forward. What's left to do now? That's a fascinating question that I can't wait to find out the answer to.
One thing we know for certain, if we can take a man at his word, is that Tito Ortiz is done fighting professionally inside a cage with millions of people watching. "The People's Champ" retired following his unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin in the co-main event last night, a fight many believe he won.
That's because the California native fought through fatigue to go shot-for-shot with one of the most famous brawlers in mixed martial arts (MMA) history and you know what?
He got the better of him.
It appeared that way after the final horn sounded, at least. Ortiz dropped Griffin like a sack of potatoes no less than two times during their 15-minute dance and scored a few takedowns to punctuate his point.
Unfortunately, fights are still scored round-by-round and the first two, close as they may have been, ended in favor of Forrest. That means he wins 29-28 no matter how you slice it and no matter how impressive Ortiz was in the final frame.
He's leaving the fight game with a bad taste in his mouth -- way to screw up his post-fight interview, Forrest -- but at least the pain is over now.
The powers that be thought "The Predator" would be a perfect foe for the flashy kickboxer, someone willing to stand and trade. Fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend fight card, someone gets smashed, everyone goes home happy, right?
Le looked pudgy and gassed relatively early, Cote never got into enough of a rhythm to get his shots off, and fans were restless for 15 minutes when they should have been jumping for joy.
It wasn't what we signed up for but the good news is Le's victory gives him new life in the UFC and the opportunity to help them branch out internationally. In fact, it's already being talked about that he'll be on the upcoming card held in China later this year.
So that's nice. I guess.
Demian Maia figured he could find new life if he dropped 15 pounds and tried his luck in the incredibly stacked but still relatively navigable welterweight division.
Turns out he was right.
Dong Hyun Kim, a servicabel 170-pound fighter if there ever was one, represented the perfect test for a combatant like Maia. He's not elite by any stretch of the imagination, but he's no can and would provide plenty of resistance.
Or so we thought.
Maia ditched the concept of utilizing his improved stand up in favor of dumping Kim on his back so he could work his vaunted Brazilian jiu-jitsu. As it turns out, he never needed to.
During the slam, "Stun Gun" injured himself in some capacity and tapped immediately after hitting the floor. It wasn't pretty but Maia is now 1-0 at welterweight with a seemingly bright future ahead of him.
Yes, you read that right. A professional fighter with the biggest MMA organization in the world lost a fight in 30 seconds after a body shot.
That's all there is to that.
Really, this loss likely doesn't hurt Menjivar too much, considering it came after one of the most boring 135-pound fights in recent memory. And while Easton may have shown he can hang with the big boys, he didn't blow anyone away with his performance last night.
Still, a win is a win and deserves credit.
That's enough from us. Now it's your turn to discuss UFC 148: "Silva vs. Sonnen 2" in the comments section below.
Did "the biggest fight of all time" live up to the hype? Was the knee illegal? Are you surprised Sonnen acted like a human being in the post-fight interview? And what of Forrest Griffin's antics after his win over Tito Ortiz? How are we feeling about that?
Let's hear it all, Maniacs.
Be sure to also check out our complete UFC 148 blow-by-blow coverage of the entire "Silva vs. Sonnen 2" event right here. Last, and certainly not least, check out our complete UFC 148 results recap of the Facebook/FX "Prelims" right here.