The grudge match between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen years in the making has reached a conclusion in front of a major Madison Square Garden crowd.
In the main event of Bellator 180, the company’s first ever event held in New York City, Sonnen defeated Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27).
Below is our excerpt from Fightful’s live coverage of Bellator 180.
Round Three: The round begins with the fighters taking a few swings at each other, Sonnen scores a takedown on Silva and he gets side control. Silva eventually traps Sonnen in his full guard, Sonnen quickly transitions to the half guard against Silva. Sonnen starts attacking Silva with ground and pound, Sonnen starts hunting for the kimura against Silva. Sonnen transitions to the full mount against Silva, Sonnen regains the side control position against Silva. Sonnen goes back to the full mount against Silva, Sonnen attacks Silva with more strikes as the round ends.
Fightful scores the round 10-9 for Sonnen (Final Score: 30-27 for Sonnen)
Official Result: Chael Sonnen def. Wanderlei Silva by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Sonnen got on the offensive to start the fight, taking down Silva and landing a lot of ground and pound offense on the Brazilian. Silva eventually got back up and dropped Sonnen, giving Silva a chance to attack from the top position. Sonnen tried to get back up, but quickly got put into a guillotine hold.
The second round started with both men throwing numerous punches before Sonnen was put into another guillotine by Silva. The hold continued for more than a minute while both men stayed nearly still.
Most of the entirety of the fight was on the ground where both man had numerous chances to win the fight, but neither fighter was able to fully capitalize on those opportunities.
This was Silva’s first Bellator fight after a run in the UFC from 2007-13 where he was never able to pick up consecutive victories. Silva has been fighting in pro MMA since 1996, winning the Pride FC Middleweight Championship, but has not fought in MMA since 2013.
Sonnen, desperate for a win after losing four of his last five fights including submitting to Tito Ortiz earlier this year at Bellator 170 in another grudge match, got his first Bellator win since signing with the promotion last year. Sonnen then focused his attention to another fighter that fought at Bellator 180.
Like a pro wrestling heel, Sonnen said he wants to fight Fedor Emelianenko and talked about his disdain for the city of New York while a visibly frustrated Silva shoved Sonnen during his post-fight interview, saying that “he will give [Fedor] that autograph, but it will be at the bottom of the contract.”
The two were supposed to have fought as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 years back, but injuries and failed drug tests put any hopes of that fight happening in the UFC to a halt.