DVD Review: UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen

Anchor Bay/Zuffa
Release date: October 19th, 2010
MSRP: $19.97

In the months leading up to UFC 117, Chael Sonnen did everything he could to hype the bout. He went after Anderson Silva in every way imaginable. He attacked his clothes, fighting style, trainers, managers…if I had heard that he threatened to cook and eat his pet fish, I would not have been surprised.

Most thought that once the fight started, it would Anderson that would be talking and dominating the action.Yet from the ring of the bell, until mere seconds left in the bout, Sonnen backed  up everything he said. He went after Silva and did not simply control him, but beat him up. He scored takedown after takedown and broke Silva’s ribs in the first round.

Silva did have the last laugh when, with less than two minutes left in the fifth and final round, he secured a triangle armbar and ended Chael’s dreams of being the champion. It was truly a storybook fight where the champion digs deep inside and comes from behind to win. This is not the first time that Sonnen has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and one has to wonder whether the problem is poor sub defense (Most of Sonnen’s losses have come via sub), mental or a combination of both.

 Matt Hughes shocked almost everyone (I am sure there were a few picking Hughes) when he submitted BJJ wizard Ricardo Almeida in the first round. Most favored Almeida, yet Hughes picked up his third win in a row, all of which have been over BJJ black belts from the Renzo Gracie Academy (Matt Serra, Renzo Gracie, Ricardo).

Junior Dos Santos utterly dominated Roy Nelson, but was never able to put him away. Nelson can take some solace in that as few manage to go the distance with Junior. With this win, Junior secured himself a heavyweight title shot.

Clay Guida was likely behind on the judges cards when he scored a technical submission when Rafael dos Anjos gave up. It turns out that RdA suffered a broken jaw in the 1st round and could take no more pain when Guida had him pressed against the cage. Jon Fitch did a masterful job on controling Thiago Alves and scoring a unanimous decision, but many in attendance were frustrated with Fitch’s methodical pace. Fitch is a world class fighter, but is developing a rep as being boring as he has not finished an opponent in three and one-half years. Despite this, one has to give Fitch credit for soundly defeating one of the best welterweights in the world.
1 Dennis Hallman defeated (Unanimous decision) Ben Saunders.
2 Stefan Struve KO’d (Punches) Christian Morecraft 22 seconds into the
second round.
3 Tim Boetsch picked up a Unanimous decision over Todd Brown
4 Johny Hendricks scored a TKO (Punches) over Charlie Brenneman 40 seonds
into the second round.
5 Phil Davis earned a Unanimous decision over Rodney Wallace
6 Rick Story TKO’d (Punches) Dustin Hazelett 1:15 of the second round.
7 Junior dos Santos put a beating on Roy Nelson and picked up a Unanimous
decision
8 Matt Hughes subbed (Anaconda Choke) Ricardo Almeida 3:15 of the first
round
9 Clay Guida Rafael scored a submission win  (Jaw injury) over Rafael dos
Anjos at 1:51 of the third round.
10 Jon Fitch controled Thiago Alves to get a Unanimous Decision
11 Anderson Silva subbed (Triangle armbar)Chael Sonnen in the
fifth round at 3:10.

For the most part, the card delivered the goods. The Fitch/Alves fight did bring things down, but the crowd went nuts for the Sonnen/Silva title bout. 117 continued the UFC’s streak of good cards (115, 116) and has enough rewatchable bouts
Jeremy Lynch