More UFC musings… continued – once again…
Silva had often times looked bored in his fights and had taken to mocking opponents. Laying down in the ring, standing in front of opponents, with his hands down, daring them to hit him… Leaning against the cage, with nowhere to top and inviting opponents in to hit him, and had always made his victories look exceedingly easy. Thjis was a supernatural fighter who had seemingly run out of challenges. He had cleaned out his division, multiple times, and done so with a level of dominance heretofore unseen in MMA. But this fight was different… HE was getting beaten, badly, and seemed to have no answers for Sonnen’s take down and ground and pounds. Until, with about two minutes left in the fight, when he got a spark of energy. And decided to fight back. He started scrambling form the b bottom, and using his hips to start to push Sonnen of of him. And then, with about a minute left in the fight, he threw up his legs, wrapped them around Sonnens head, caught him in a triangle choke form the bottom, pulled down on Sonnen’s head, and forced him to tap out. This was incredible. After the fight, he said that he had just been toying with Sonnen and wanted to teach him a lesson.
Silva had gotten his black belt form the Nogueira brothers, themselves a pair of dominant twins from Brazil, and Sonnen had commented int eh lead up to the fight that getting your. Black belt from the Nogueira bothers was like getting a black belt from a cracker jack box. A lot of folks didn;didn’t believe Silva, and thought he was just making excuses… And because Sonnen had done so much better than anyone else to have ever faced silva, the UFC booked a rematch to take place on one of their biggest cards of the year, the annual 4th of July weekend card.
So, not wanting to miss out on what was sure to a historic match, me and my buddy Jordan booked flight to Vegas and scored tickets for the fight. We also rented d acopiuple of m totrcyles and decided too make a 4 night trek throught the Southwest that would lead us right up to the fight. We picked up the bikes on July 3rd and headed out on an epic loop that took us from Vegas into Utah, down through Arizona, to the grand canyon, Leake Meade, the Hoover Damn and then back into Vegas just in time for the fights. The ride was all sorts of ridiculous… We found a Mormon Rodeo in Utah, and also in Utah we rode so high into a mountain that we got trapped in a hail storm in 40 degree weather, which was scarily dangerous because we hadnt packed any cold weather clothes, and our only real option was to try and get over mountain and back down in elevation where it would be warm again. How we didn’t end up with hypothermia, Ill never know. We ended up staying in a fresh ass hotel in the north rim of the canyon, getting pulled over for speeding tickets, and Jordan even survived a very low speed crash ta t the Hoover Damn that was basic ally caused by heat exhaustion.
When we finally made it back to Vegas, we were seriously wiped out, but didn’t waiver in our resolve to make the fight. We had booked rooms at the MGM Grand, the same hotel where the fights were happening, so had just enough time to get into the rooms and shower before it was time to place some bets and then head to the Grand Garden Arena.
This was my first time being in Vegas for a big fight night, and it was amazing to actually be going to the fights. The atmosphere was absolutely electric throughout the casino and especially in the arena. The undercard fights were mostly thrilling, but everyone was really there for the main event.
Ill never forget the excitement we both felt when BB ounce Buffer uttered his famous main event phrase – IT TIIIIIIMMMMMME! Sonnen almost got booed out of the building and when Silv a was announced the place almost exploded. As soon as the first round started Sonnen. Took Silva diowbn to open the first frame, and kept him on the ground almost the entirety of the first round, grounding and pounding him. HOLY SHIT! It was almost an exact carbon copy of the first fight. MAYBE THIS HADNT BEEN AN ACCIDENT AT ALL! The judges scored it 10-8 because Sonnen was so dominant. A hiush fell across the arena, as we all thought that maybe our had finally found his crpytonite in the Bad Bad from west Lin Oregon!
But then when the 2nd round started, Silva came out with a bang and started unloading on Sonnen. He landed a few punch, had Sonnen in deep trouble, when Sonnen tried something very uncharachteristic, obviously out of sheer desperation. He attempted a spinning back fist, which Silva ducked and his momentum carried him away and onto the mat, and as he tried to stand up, Silva delivered a VICIOUS flying knee to the center of his chest and followed up with a flurry of punches that left him unconscious. The champ was back, and in a defiant away. Was it all just another elaborate ruse, or had sonnet really had him in trouble. Only Silva really knows, and probably only he will ever know.
Before the flight had started I had said that if Silva won via knockout I was gonna get a tattoo of a Spider, in honor of his nickname. So after the fight we went to the tattoo shop at the Hard Rock Hotel, and I got a tattoo of a Spider, and on the body of the Spider, I put the Brazilian flag, to honor Silva’ homeland. Its one of the many “postcard” tattoos I have, that mark a special occasion, or trip in my life