With one sentence in late June, UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva announced to the world that his rematch with the talkative Chael Sonnen was personal.
“I'm going to break his face and break every one of his teeth in his mouth." Silva said.
Considering Silva's track record, undefeated in the UFC heading into Saturday night's rematch with Sonnen, that sentence packed as much of a punch as the guy who said them. But words alone don't win fights, actions do — and that's what Silva brought to the octagon as he toppled the powerful yet reckless Sonnen in the second round of their much anticipated rematch.
Like their previous match two years ago, Sonnen came out and dominated, right up until he made the smallest mistake that gave Silva the opening he needed to end it. It was in round two when Sonnen missed a spinning backfist, stumbling in the process. That stumble allowed Silva the chance to batter Sonnen with a flurry of punches that caused referee Yves Lavigne to wave the fight off at the 1:55 mark.
After the fight, a humbled Sonnen and a triumphant Silva appeared to bury the hatchet of animosity that was between them.
"Chael fought me and I fought Chael," said Silva, who improved to 32-4 after successfully defending his 185-pound title for a UFC-record 10th time. "This is a sport. I have nothing against Chael."
"If you [Chael] would like to have a barbecue at my house, I'd like to have you over."
While the barbecue remark may be considered a slight dig at Sonnen for his earlier remarks about having Silva's wife make him a steak after his 'victory', it was obviously meant to be more lighthearted than cruel, a fact that Sonnen seemed to recognize and accept.
"He gave me an opportunity," Sonnen said. "He didn't owe me anything. He's a great champion.
"He got me with a good knee."
With the loss, Sonnen falls to 28-12-1.
The attendance for UFC 148 was a sellout of 15,016. The $7 million gate is largest in UFC history.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: AP