Anderson ‘Spider’ Silva has beaten
all 13 American opponents he’s fought in UFC matches which is why the crowd at
the Oracle Arena in California chanted throughout: “USA! USA!”
Chael Sonnen battered the skilful
Brazilian for almost five rounds with excellent ground and pound tactics, but
succumbed to the brilliant jiu-jitsu specialist with less than two minutes to
Silva revealed that he almost
pulled out from injured ribs sustained in training but like the true champion
he is, felt compelled to headline UFC 117. The fight was so one-sided that bets
in the crowd for Spider must have been handed over well before that sensational
submission when despite the pummelling, Silva found enough strength and composure
to win by triangle submission. The crowd at the Aqua Beach Bar on the West Bay
Road – Cayman’s premier place to watch mixed martial arts – could barely fathom
such a dramatic turnaround in what was easily the best fight Silva has been in
One irate American insisted that
Sonnen tapped only once and not three times so the submission couldn’t count.
But he graciously changed his mind after seeing the replay because Sonnen would
have been choked out of consciousness had the referee not jumped in as quickly
as he did.
Silva is out injured until the
spring so it looks like Sonnen will fight for the interim middleweight title
before then against Vitor Belfort to determine who faces Silva when he returns.
After being threatened with
termination of his contract for not providing enough entertainment, Silva’s
apparent vulnerability has made him a stellar attraction again. The UFC’s
magnetic attraction knows no bounds.