UFC fighter Chad Mendez does a backflip as he celebrates his win against Cody McKenzie (not pictured) during a featherweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (photo: us presswire)
UFC fighter Chad Mendez (top) punches Cody McKenzie during a featherweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (PHOTO: US PRESSWIRE)
UFC fighter Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Chael Sonnen during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (photo: us presswire)
UFC fighter Anderson Silva (left) celebrates after defeating Chael Sonnen during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (PHOTO: US PRESSWIRE)
LAS VEGAS, NV - It took only 31 seconds for Chad Mendes to end Cody McKenzie in UFC 148 and help erase the memory of the knockout loss he suffered against Jose Aldo, in his last fight.
The featherweight Mendes (12-1), who fights out of Sacramento, caught McKenzie's right kick and countered with a hard, clean right punch to the mid-section, which caused McKenzie to drop instantly. He followed with a series of vicious blows to McKenzie's head before the referee put a stop to the fight in the first round.
"I figured it would more of a ground battle," Mendes said following the fight. "Luckily, I caught thak kick and saw that body wide open, so I just took it."
In the post fight press conference, UFC President Dana White said Mendes completely outclassed McKenzie (13-3) and it was up to the organization to give him more worthy opponents.
Coming into this fight, Mendes said it was a goal to have a dominating performance after being knocked out by Aldo's vicious knee in January.
"I felt like I needed to make a statement coming in here, after that loss," said Mendes. "I feel like I'm one of the best featherweights in the division. I definitely needed to make a statement, and I think I did that tonight."
Mendes admitted he'd like another shot at the champion Jose Also (21-1) and attempt to avenge his loss.
In the night's main event, middleweight champion Anderson Silva (32-4) stopped Chael Sonnen (27-12) at 1:55 of the second round in the rematch of their epic battle in UFC 117 in 2010.
Silva has now successfully defended his UFC title 10 times and has now won 15 consecutive fights.
Similar to the first fight, Sonnen took Silva to the ground early in the first round and kept him there to easily win the round on the scorecards.
A different story in the second round, as Silva punished Sonnen against the cage, when Sonnen failed to land a spinning backfist. Silva retaliated with a devastating knee to Sonnen's chest, followed by a flurry of strikes, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
In 2010, Sonnen kept Silva on the canvas and grew fatigued by beating him. In the closing minutes of the final round, Silva slipped Sonnen into submission by a triangle armbar.
Following the fight, White called Silva the greatest fighter in the history of mixed martial arts.
Forrest Griffen was declared the winner over Tito Ortiz in a unanimous decision that drew a lot of controversy on social media, and inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It was the third meeting between the former light heavyweight champions.
It would also be Ortiz's final fight of his career.
San Jose's Cung Le defeated Patrick Cote for his first victory in the UFC, Damian Maia stopped Dong Hyun Kim with a first round TKO and Mike Easton beat Ivan Menjivar in a decision to open the pay-per-view card.