UFC 168: Chris Weidman retains the UFC middleweight belt in stunning fashion
What UFC fighter in history could have ever dreamed being an undefeated champion with his last two wins a KO and TKO victory over MMA’s greatest fighter ever, Anderson 'The Spider' Silva? Chris 'The All-American' Weidman, and he never doubted it.
The rematch between these two middleweights was meant to answer one question: can Weidman beat an Anderson Silva who isn’t showboating, who isn’t playing games in the Octagon? The second fight, which ended with Anderson Silva breaking his shin bone when Weidman checked a leg kick, may still leave doubters re Weidman’s legitimacy, and that’s too bad.
In the first fight, after taking Silva down in the first round, Weidman attempted a leg lock and allowed Silva up. For the rest of that round, and for the start of the second, Silva danced and moved, hands down, goading Weidman, and throwing leg kicks, but when you looked past the flash, Weidman knew his distance, knew when to move in and when to circle, and wasn’t being dominated or even losing the stand up when he knocked out the former champ.
In the second fight, Weidman took Silva down after a clinch in which Weidman clipped Silva in the ear while absorbing a knee to the body---the first time ever Silva has ended up on the short end of the stick in a clinch. Silva went down, and for the remainder of the round Weidman caused damage.
In the second round, Weidman again showed he couldn’t be dominated by Silva in the stand up, and for the first time The Spider looked like a regular fighter, not the prescient superstar we knew. Then came the leg kick that Weidman checked with his knee. Silva’s shin broke right in two and the fight was done.
It’s unfortunate the fight ended this way. Silva is 39. Injuries like that take more than a year to heal, if rehab goes well. He may well be done. And Weidman doubters will voice their opposition about how both fights ended. But Weidman was never bested by Silva, and won the belt by finishing the greatest of all time, twice. End of argument.
A great wrestler and talented striker, Weidman’s best talent may well be the speed at which he sees the fight. It’s as if he sees it slower, reacts quicker, isn’t taken by surprise. Perhaps it’s why he was so calm before both fights with Silva, and may be why he could hold the belt for a long time.
Women’s 135 pound champion and bringer of nasty, 'Rowdy' Ronda Rousey, took on default challenger Miesha 'Cupcake' Tate after Cat Zingano’s injury. Their appearance on The Ultimate Fighter as coaches fueled their rivalry, in which Rousey garnered a horrible reputation. UFC president Dana White insisted it wasn’t editing, that Rousey is that bad.
Rousey defeated Tate in Strikeforce for that belt, then took it to the UFC where she was given a belt before fighting for the organization. She’d won all her fights via armbar in the first round, till tonight, when it took her till the third to accomplish the feat. After her win, she refused to shake hands with Tate.
Fights are where athletes compete and, at worst, debts get settled. Not shaking Tate’s hand after the fight demonstrated poor championship qualities and poor sportsmanship. Definitely not someone you want your kids to emulate. But ask any teenage girl what high school is like, and they’ll tell you girls can be the worst.
Hawaiian Travis 'Hapa' Browne defeated catch fighter and former UFC champion Josh Barnett in shocking fashion. Browne’s last fight was a tremendous comeback against Alistair Overeem in which he came back from being hurt by a body blow to KOing the K-1 figher with front kicks. Barnett’s last fight was a shellacking of former UFC HW champion Frank Mir, when he took the BJJ black belt against the fence, manhandled him in the clinch, and knocked him out with a knee.
In this fight, Browne used his height and reach to throw strikes with serious power and made Barnett lunge for the clinch. Barnett took a knee to the faceplate on the way in, and with his arms around Browne’s legs he attempted to haul the Hawaiian down and ate a series of elbows to the ear (one of three fights with significant blows to the ear). Barnett was done.
Browne has a unique collection of height, reach, and skill that is getting him far and fast in the HW division. He likely has a date with Fabricio Werdum to see who meets champion Cain Velasquez once the champ has healed.
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