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UFC 175: Chris Weidman defeats Lyoto Machida

Middleweight champion Chris Weidman (L) stares down former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Photo courtesy Dana White's Twitter page.

Chris Weidman defended his belt in his first UFC five-rounder, but looked human doing it. He beat Lyoto Machida in a unanimous but very close back and forth decision. Neither lost their sheen in going the distance. Brazilian Lyoto Machida has looked even better at 185 than he did at 205, where he had the belt for a split second.

His frame is better suited to the lighter weight class, where his movement and angles can’t be outdone by height, reach, or weight. Weidman made Anderson Silva’s stellar striking look ordinary in his two wins over the former champion, widely considered the greatest mixed martial artist ever. So it was thought by some fans and pundits that Weidman would baffle Machida too.

And he did, through portions of the fight. After a close feeling out first round, Weidman overtook Machida in the second and third despite having trouble getting Machida down. But looking confident heading into the fourth didn’t help the champ, who got rocked by Machida more than once. The Brazilian emptied his gas tank in the attempt. Weidman bloodied and battered his opponent in the fifth and got Machida down.

Throughout the the fight, each made the other dig deep. Weidman typically has a dominating wrestling game, and a sixth sense that makes other great fighters struggle to figure him out. Machida usually controls distance and angles with his movement. Each took his opponent out of his game, for a time. But it was Weidman who dished out most of the punishment, implemented his game plan most often, and Machida who needed the cut man after the final bell. Machida remains a fan favourite while Weidman made his point, again, and will gain more respect, respect he deserves. WMMA Ronda Rousey defeated Canadian Alexis Davis quickly with a punch-knee-throw combo.

Problem is, Joe Rogan was already asking her about her next potential fight, at UFC 176, when for all intents and purposes there is no real division, no matter what hype they try to gag fans with. There have been several great women’s matches in the UFC, no doubt, but women’s mixed martial arts is where men’s MMA was years ago. Yet they keep hyping Rousey and her records and comparing them to the men’s divisions which are far deeper and established. A dog by any other name is still a dog, meaning the division and not Rousey. Click here for all the results. Follow me on Twitter @RenkoStyranka

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