round, but this time Griffin sprawls and punishes his fellow ex-champ with punches for the last few seconds of the round.
It looks like more of the same through the first 30 seconds of round three with Griffin scoring at will. That is, until Ortiz cracks him with a big left hand in an exchange and Griffin goes tumbling backward. Ortiz tries to catch him standing up with a knee or kick, but he’s too tired and Griffin scrambles back up to clinch. Ortiz shoves him to the ground and lays in Griffin’s open guard. Griffin closes up shop and grabs onto Tito’s right wrist to limit the offense on top. Ortiz bucks up to try and pass but Griffin keeps him in place with the butterfly guard. Griffin opens up and tries to shrimp out, can’t and instead grabs for a kimura. Ortiz gets his arm free and sticks his hands in Griffin’s face. Griffin scoots over to the cage and uses the fence to work his way back up. Knee to the body from Griffin as the light heavyweights separate. Ortiz’s hands are by his waist as Griffin continues throwing and landing punches to the face. With a minute to go, Ortiz is looking for the homerun shot, but he just doesn’t have it left in his arms and Griffin is still throwing two shots for every one of Ortiz’s. The horn sounds and Griffin dashes from the cage, apparently headed for the locker room. Officials catch up to him and he quickly returns to the Octagon to hear the decision.
Official result: All three judges score the bout 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Forrest Griffin.
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
Referee Yves Lavigne is the third man in the cage to preside over this 185-pound title bout. Judges Junichiro Kamijo, Chris Lee and Patricia Morse-Jarman are scoring at cageside. Silva walks to the middle of the cage for his traditional pre-fight bow and is restrained by Lavigne and NAC officials. There’s no touch of gloves during final instructions.
Silva comes out swinging and Sonnen immediately changes levels to drive the Brazilian to the ground. Open guard from Silva as he wraps up Sonnen’s head and limits the damage. Sonnen thuds with some right hands to the body and then goes up top to mash Silva’s face with his fist and forearm. Sonnen tries to pass on Silva’s left side but the cage impedes his progress. Sonnen has control of Silva’s right wrist but Silva gets the arm free and wraps up the challenger from underneath. Three minutes to go in the opening round and Sonnen works from Silva’s half-guard on the left, though Silva’s doing well to neutralize any ground-and-pound. Sonnen drops a couple knees to the champ’s body and ref Lavigne tells the middleweights to get to work. Silva dodges a big punch and grabs an arm-triangle from the bottom, then looks to throw up his legs for a triangle. Sonnen isn’t having it and continues mashing the body and face from half-guard. Silva takes an elbow on the side of the head and motions to the ref that it was in the back. Lavigne doesn’t respond and Sonnen hops into mount soon after. Forty seconds left in the round and Sonnen is slamming his chest into Silva’s face, keeping the champ flat on his back, and that’s where the round ends.
Sonnen clinches up instantly, this time putting Silva on the fence, but it’s Silva who’s grabbed onto the wrestler’s leg. Solid knees on the fence from Sonnen, but Silva breaks away after a minute. Silva’s warned for holding his opponent’s shorts while punching. Sonnen tumbles to the ground after whiffing on a spinning backfist and Silva appears to knee his challenger in the face on the ground. Sonnen is in trouble, going fetal on the ground against the fence while Silva bashes him with heavy punches. Sonnen almost gets up, only to hit the floor again and receive more punishment. Ref Lavigne has seen enough; he steps in to wave the fight off, giving Silva the TKO victory. Replay shows that the knee from Silva landed to Sonnen’s body. Silva’s 10th UFC middleweight title defense comes officially at 1:55 of round two.
Silva is with the defending champion Joe Rogan. Silva embraces his coaches and trainers. Silva says this is his most satisfying victory. Silva says this is a sport and this is the UFC. Silva says he had big emotion for the fight and he calls out to his Brazilian fans in the building. Silva brings Chael Sonnen. Silva asks for the fans to applaud his opponent and tells Sonnen he'd love to have him over for a BBQ.
Sonnen now speaks. He says he's grateful for the chance and Silva is a true champion and no one owes him anything. Sonnen says Silva got him with a good shot and a good knee on the ground.