Thrilling End to a Great Year (UFC 168 Review)

ufc_168The year in the UFC was set to end with a great card at UFC 168 as two titles were on the line in what promised to be a card to end the year right. More than that though these two title fights would be two of the most anticipated rematches of the year. Ronda Rousey would take on Meisha Tate in a rematch from Strikeforce with both fighters never really getting along. The most anticipated rematch though, was the rematch for the Middleweight title. Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman would face off in a rematch of one of the biggest upsets in UFC history earlier in the year. Unbeaten in the UFC Anderson Silva had been the most dominant fighters ever holding the Middleweight title since 2006. He had faced everyone there was to face in the division and had essentially cleared the division out of challengers forcing him to take a run at the Light Heavyweight Championship. Then came an undefeated Chris Weidman who would promise to give Anderson Silva the biggest challenge of his career. Weidman was exactly what Silva did not like as he was a wrestler with power that could hold Silva on the ground and punish him from the top position. It was a fight that had a lot of people worried for Silva but that worry did not translate to Silva. The champion would enter the octagon with a confidence that has built over the 7 years that he had held the belt with not many fighters challenging him. Silva was cocky in the fight as he dared Weidman to hit him and test his chin with Silva believing that Weidman did not have the power or the quickness to really hurt him. Weidman would make Silva pay for being cocky and would land a big shot that dropped Silva. It was the first time in 7 years that Silva had been beaten and the first time in 7 years that a new champion was crowned. Still it never seemed like Weidman would get the credit for earning the win as many believed Silva was the better fighter if he did not fool around. The question loomed as to whether Weidman could be considered the best fighter in the division because what would happen if Silva took the fight more seriously and didn’t drop his hands and let Weidman hit him. That question would be answered at UFC 168 as both fighters would face off again with Silva trying to prove that he was a better fighter and Chris Weidman trying to prove that he deserved the title. The fight was full of anticipation as both fighters were looking to prove something with only one coming out on top. Chris Weidman would be able to take advantage again as he would hurt Silva in the first round and would almost end the fight with another KO. Silva would survive though as he would do just enough to keep the fight going and get to the end of the round. As the second round started Weidman still looked to be the better fighter and then everything would end in one of the strangest finishes in UFC history. As Silva unleashed a kick to Weidman’s thigh Weidman lifted his leg to check the kick and would see Silva’s shin land on his knee. The kick would prove to be the end as Silva’s kick would break his own leg at the shin and sent Silva down screaming in pain. The fight was over and Chris Weidman was champion once again and the world of UFC was changed forever. The questions will still linger for Weidman as a broken leg not done by himself may leave some to wonder if Weidman could beat Silva without Silva beating himself. The answer to this question may never be answered though as the broken leg will keep Silva out for at least a year and for a fighter who is 38 and has done everything there is to do it might mean the end to a career. Silva was likely not going to return after the fight anyway as it was likely his last stand before leaving the fight game and with a serious injury like a broken leg there is little to say that Silva will return again as a legend has likely entered the octagon for the last time. Meanwhile a new era has started as Chris Weidman is now the Middleweight Champion and will go about trying to be a dominant one as he will take on Vitor Belfort in his next fight as he continues his reign.

The main event was not the only thrilling part of the night though as two women would take focus in the co-main event in one of the biggest rivalries in the UFC. Ronda Rousey and Meisha Tate do not like each other, with a lot of the hate coming from Rousey. The rivalry started in Strikeforce when an up and coming Ronda Rousey would take on Women’s Strikeforce champion and Strikeforce veteran Meisha Tate. The fight would end like every other fight that Rousey had ever been in with a first round armbar. The talk between the two before the fight was the usual pre-fight banter but it was what happened after the fight that made everything worse. Comments about Rousey by Meisha Tate’s boyfriend would launch Rousey into true hate and that would continue throughout The Ultimate Fighter as Tate would try to prank Rousey but Rousey would not take it as a joke. The hate has grown and they would get to unleash it in the octagon for the Women’s Bantamweight Championship. It would be Rousey’s second title defence since being named the first UFC women’s champion but her short career has been impressive. No fighter has ever taken Rousey out fo the first round and every fighter has lost via the armbar. Everyone that goes into a fight against Rousey knows what Rousey is looking to do but nobody can stop it. Even Meisha Tate had fallen to the first round armbar from Rousey who broke her arm in the first fight between these two. Going into the fight everyone knew what Rousey was looking for including Tate but Tate was determined not to let it happen again. For the first time ever Rousey would have to fight more than one round as Tate would not be able let Rousey get her usual win. Still though, Rousey was the dominant fighter as Meisha Tate seemed to be playing more defence than offence and seemed more concerned about not allowing the armbar rather than trying to win the fight. In the end it was still the armbar that would get her as Rousey would finish the fight in the third round with her favorite technique and would remain the women’s champion. Tate will now end up back in the women’s Bantamweight division as the only fighter to push Rousey to more than one round as she looks to earn another title shot eventually. Rousey will move on to fight Sara McMann at UFC 170 in her next attempt to remain the champion.

 

Fight Bonuses

Submission of the Night
Ronda Rousey would do it again as she has now had 8 professional MMA fights and has finished every single fight with an armbar with her latest one winning her an extra $75,000 for the Submission of the Night

Knockout of the Night
It was one of the more unique KOs in the UFC as Travis Browne would finish Josh Barnett with vicious elbows just as Barnett was looking to the takedown and the finish would earn Browne an extra $75,000

Fight of the Night
It was the first time ever that Ronda Rousey had been taken out of the first round and Meisha Tate can be proud of that fact and for doing it she earned $75,000 along with Rousey for the Fight of the Night

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Chris “The All-American” Weidman def. Anderson “The Spider” Silva
(TKO; Rd. 2)

Main Card:
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey def. Meisha “Cupcake” Tate
(Submission; Armbar, Rd. 3)

Travis “Hapa” Browne def. Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett
(KO; Rd. 1)

Jim Miller def. Fabricio “Morango” Camoes
(Submission; Armbar, Rd. 1)

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier def. Diego “DB” Brandao
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Undercard:
Uriah “Prime Time” Hall def. Chris “The Crippler” Leben
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Michael “The Menace” Johnson def. Gleison Tibau
(KO; Rd. 2)

Dennis Siver def. Manny “The Anvil” Gamburyan
(Unanimous Decision)

John “Doomsday” Howard def. Siyar “The Great” Bahadurzada
(Unanimous Decision)

William “Patolino” Macario def. Bobby “Vicious” Voelker
(Unanimous Decision)

Robbie “Problems” Peralta def. Estevan “El Terrible” Payan
(KO; Rd. 3)

 

Upcoming Events 

UFC Fight Night 34: Saffiedine vs. Lim (Saturday January 4th; 9:00 am ET)
Marina Bay, Singapore (Marina Bay Sands)
Main Event: Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine vs. Hyun Gyu “The Ace” Lim
Notable: Tatsuya “The Crusher” Kawajiri vs. Sean Soriano
Notable: Kiichi “Strasser” Kunimoto vs. Luiz “Besouro” Dutra

UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs. Pilippou (Wednesday January 15th; 7:00 pm ET)
Duluth, Georgia (The Arena at Gwinnett Center)
Main Event: Luke Rockhold vs. Costas Philippou
Notable: Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin vs. Brad Tavares
Notable: Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High vs. Beneil Dariush

UFC on Fox 10: Henderson vs. Thomson (Saturday January 25th; 8:00 pm ET)
Chicago, Illinois (United Center)
Main Event: Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs. Josh “The Punk” Thomson
Notable: Stipe Miocic vs. Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga
Notable: Darren “The Damage” Elkins vs. Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens

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