Silva Snaps Leg, Weidman Wins, Rousey Wins But Loses Crowd
By: Brandon Stubbs, Contributing Writer
It definitely didn’t end the way I thought it would …
Saturday night, the UFC closed out 2013 with their biggest PPV event of the year, UFC 168. Headlined by Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva rematch, the ending was not at all what I expected or could have ever predicted.
The main event between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight title had the worst ending of any championship event in any sport I can think of in my history of watching sports.
Weidman dominated the opening round by clipping Silva with a right hook behind his ear while in the clinch that sent him to the ground. From there he stayed on top of Silva for more than half the round grounding and pounding to score points on the judges card. The second round started with both men exchanging punches in the center of the cage with Anderson trying to get in to a rhythm. Silva landed one inside low kick and thought he saw an opening. But as he went for a second one, Weidman checked it and Silva’s shin landed on Weidman’s knee. What happened next would be burned into MMA fans memories for the rest of their lives. We saw, and heard, Anderson Silva’s shin snap and blood-curdling scream leave his mouth as he went to the canvas in obvious pain.
Weidman wins the rematch due to medical stoppage and Silva went straight to the hospital for emergency surgery on his left leg. How much credit can you give to Weidman for this win? I’m still not sure. He did his job using the proper low kick check, but rarely do we see a leg breaking from that. The more important question is was this the last time we see Anderson Silva fighting? At 38, back to back losses and now a possible career ending injury like this? Will he want to come back to sport of just ride off into the sunset?
In what would earn her the “Fight of the Night” bonus, Ronda Rousey successfully defended her UFC Women’s Bantamweight belt against Miesha Tate.
With a history of hate and dislike between the too, we all knew this would be a good fight for as long as it would last. Round one were strikes early on with neither lady showing much to be afraid of. Action picked up back and forth clinching on the ground with Rousey getting the better end and winning the round. In round two, Rousey started to impose her will by using her judo skills to take Tate down. But to Tate’s credit she was able to fend off repeated arm bar attempts and take some punches to survive the round.
The third round picked up right where round two left off with Rousey using the judo throw take down more effectively to get into position to lock in her patented arm bar for the win.
Rousey’s post-fight actions were a different story. In a tasteless display, when Tate approached her in a show of good sportsmanship to shake her hand, she just looked at her and walked away. Vocal in their disgust by her actions, the crowd rained down a storm of boos during her post-fight interview. Unaffected, Rousey finished her interview and left the ring. Rousey wont’ have a lot of time to enjoy her win since it was announced in post-event press conference that she will defend her title against Sarah McMann in February.
The night’s action kicked off with preliminary fights that aired on Fox Sports 1 between Uriah Hall and Chris Leben. According to the rumor mill, the loser of this fight was going to be cut since both men have been on losing streaks. Right at the opening bell Hall came out to the center of the cage and landed a flying knee that opened a cut below Leben’s eye. From that moment on, it was all Hall. With his reach and movement, Hall worked from the outside to halt Laban’s aggression. As the first round came to close Uriah landed a straight right that sent Leben crashing to the floor and quickly went in to ground and pound until the bell sounded. Having no clue what happened, Leben elected to quit in his corner than go out in the second round with a scrambled brain. Uriah Hall wins via first round TKO and keeps his job in the UFC….for now.
Moving on to the main card, the opening fight was scheduled to be 145 pound clash between Dustin Poirier and Diego Brandao, but Brandao came overweight as a result of a car accident that prevented him from fully training, according to reports.
Instead, the fight took place at an agreed catch weight of 151 pounds with Brandao losing a chunk of his purse. Adding more fuel to the fight was Brandao’s repeated threats to cut Poirier throat after he didn’t like the way he was looking at him during the pre-fight weigh-in. Once the fight started, Brandao came out swinging wildly and looking sloppy as if he was fighting off pure emotions. He did manage to connect with a right hook midway through round one but couldn’t capitalize off of it. After getting up from a take down, Poirier was able to land series of body shots that slowed Brandao down allowing him to force him against the cage. Going in for the kill, Poirier rained down punishment with ground and pound until the referee called a stop to the bout with six seconds left in round one.
Next up was the fight between Fabricio Camoes and Jim Miller. A bout that sounded good on paper when it was announced since both men were known for the ground work and submission game.
The first few minutes of the round featured a striking exchange between both combatants with Camoes landing the more effective blows not to mention he did a good job of cutting off the cage. Momentum shifted when Camoes attempted to throw a high kick and found himself caught by Miller. Catching Camoes by the leg, Miller was able to take him down and work the ground. Miller remained calm and was able to lock Camoes in a slick arm bar for the win. With this win, Miller proved he is still one of the legitimate lightweight threats in the world today.
Who doesn’t love a heavyweight banger? Knowing the winner would be in line for a title shot in 2014, Travis Browne vs. Josh Barnett entered the ring fully aware of the stakes.
Browne had a clear strategy going into the bout, using his massive reach advantage and being prepared for the early takedown storm Barnett is known for. As action heated up, Barnett went in for a double leg take down but ate a knee for his troubles as he pinned Browne to the cage. Once there, Browne landed a series of vicious elbows the side of Barnett’s head that left him limp and eventually out cold. Not wasting anytime, it only took one minute in round one for the damage to be done and Travis Browne to send notice the rest of the UFC heavyweights.
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