UFC 168 Preview

ufc_168The UFC will be ending their year with a massive card and with it the reminders of an era gone by in 2013. The year began with what many would consider the most dominant group of champions ever assembled. A number of weight divisions would see their champions solidify their spot in 2012 and there did not seem to be much change coming. The lighter weight classes would be ruled by Demetrious Johnson and Jose Aldo who both seemed to be on their way to long rules. Renan Barao kept the Bantamweight belt warm for the entire year while waiting for Dominick Cruz to return from injury. The Heavyweight Division would be one of the few divisions that was a mystery heading into 2013 and it remained the same throughout the year. Then there were the three most dominant champions in UFC history standing at the top of the Welterweight, Middleweight, and Light Heavyweight divisions to start the 2013 season. Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Jon Jones would begin the year with little doubt in their standing at the end of the year. The three champions were fully expected to run through the year with little problem but all would see their biggest challenges ever. In the Light Heavyweight Division Jon Jones would meet his match in Alexander Gustafsson in September. The fight would go down to the wire with many believing that Gustafsson had won the title. It was Jones who came out on top though escaping his biggest test with the title and remaining the champ although not unchallenged. The Welterweight title would see much of the same as Georges St. Pierre would face his biggest test in Johnny Hendricks and would fight a five round battle that many people believed he had lost. St. Pierre would remain the champion but only a month later would announce his semi-retirement vacating the title and ending one of the longest title reigns in UFC history. Another title reign would end in 2013 and it would be the biggest surprise in UFC history. This would be the end of the Middleweight reign of Anderson Silva. The man that nobody could beat and who was considered the best fighter to ever step in the octagon would see his title reign end this year. The man who would end the reign of the most dominant champion in UFC history would be Chris Weidman. Weidman would do it in spectacular fashion too when he would KO the champion in the second round. The win would shock the world and would signify the beginning of the end for the dominant champions. The top champions in the UFC would all look human again in 2013 but as the year ends one will look to gain back his legend. Anderson Silva will be back in the octagon at UFC 168 and will look to take back his title against Chris Weidman in the most anticipated rematch of the year. Silva will look to get back to his unbeatable self while Weidman looks to prove that he is the true champion. There is not a lot more to say that hasn’t been said about both fighters as they are both well-rounded with Weidman holding the edge on the ground and Silva holding the edge on the feet. Then again Weidman did earn a KO against Silva in their last fight showing that he has what it takes to win on the feet. The difference in this fight will be the fact that Silva has been humbled and will not do his usual dancing around as he is sure to take Weidman more seriously this time around. If Silva is back to his old form it is hard to see Weidman beating him but he has done it once before and could do it again. In the end Silva should be a different fighter after losing his title and a motivated Silva is a dangerous Silva as he will win back his title with a 4th round KO in what is sure to be a great way to end the year.

The dominant champions were not the only newsmakers of 2013 as women’s fighting would take another step forward. 2013 would see the Women’s Bantamweight Division added to the UFC and the first women’s champion crowned. This champion would be the most dominant women’s fighter in MMA as Ronda Rousey would convert her Strikeforce championship to the UFC being crowned the first women’s champion in UFC history. Rousey would announce the addition of women to the UFC with her first title defence against Liz Carmouche in February. The title defence was a display of just how dominant Rousey has been since entering MMA as she would finish the fight with an armbar in the first round. Despite struggling at the start of the fight Rousey would finish her fifth fight in a row with a first round armbar in what has become her signature move. While the rest of the women’s division would be introduced to the UFC fans Rousey would enter The Ultimate Fighter house as the next coach of the reality show. She would be joined by her longtime rival Meisha Tate as UFC fans were introduced to one of the fiercest rivalries in women’s fighting. Ronda Rousey does not get along with Meisha Tate and it all started in 2012 when Rousey would win the Strikeforce women’s championship against Tate. The fight ended as every Rousey fight does with a first round armbar. It would solidify Rousey as the best women’s fighter in the world and would begin a rivalry between the two fighters for supremacy. After spending plenty of time coaching against each other both fighters will now face off for the first time in the UFC for the second women’s title fight in history. There is no doubt what Rousey will be looking to do as she is always looking for the armbar and everyone knows it. Yet despite everyone knowing her gameplan nobody can stop it with every fight ending the exact same way. Tate will be the first fighter to face Rousey for the second time and has already experienced the armbar as she hopes to take that experience into the fight and win the title to make one more change before the end of the year in the UFC.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Chris “The All-American” Weidman vs. Anderson “The Spider” Silva [Middleweight Title] (Pay-per-View)

Undercard:
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs. Meisha “Cupcake” Tate [Women’s Bantamweight Title] (Pay-per-View)

Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett vs. Travis “Hapa” Browne (Pay-per-View)

Jim Miller vs. Fabricio “Morango” Camoes (Pay-per-View)

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier vs. Diego “DB” Brandao (Pay-per-View)

Undercard:
Chris “The Crippler” Leben vs. Uriah “Prime Time” Hall (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Gleison Tibau vs. Michael “The Menace” Johnson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Dennis Siver vs. Manny “The Anvil” Gamburyan (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

John “Doomsday” Howard vs. Siyar “The Great” Bahadurzada (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

William “Patolino” Macario vs. Bobby “Vicious” Voelker (Facebook)

Robbie “Problems” Peralta vs. Estevan “El Terrible” Payan (Facebook)

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