UFC 168 recap: Weidman retains the title after Silva breaks his leg

credit Justin Fuller/MMA Fight Corner

credit Justin Fuller/MMA Fight Corner

Chris Weidman is without a doubt, no questions asked, the UFC Middleweight Champion. The Long Island native remained undefeated moving his record to 11-0 when Anderson Silva broke his leg in the second round of their rematch.

The first round of action also was dominated by Weidman who was able to get the fight to the ground and punish the former champ. Silva never threatened Weidman during the fight. The official judges scorecards reflected that, with all three judges giving the round to Weidman 10-9.

After dethroning Anderson Silva from his six year reign at UFC 162, Weidman proved to have the tenacity to be able to do it again. The MGM Grand Garden Arena was packed with fans from across the globe. Clearly massive amounts of Brazilians came out to support the former UFC Middleweight Champion as boos resounded through the arena upon Weidman’s entrance.

During the bout, the 38-year-old Silva appeared to have slowed since his days of seeming virtually invincible. Still the injury suffered for a fighter his age will likely take at least a year from which to recover.

Surgery for his broken leg got underway within an hour after the fight ended. In the post-fight press conference UFC president Dana White said Silva was in no mood to talk following the injury so he could not update his status or whether or not Silva has the desire to continue his career.

In the co-main event, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defeated her arch rival, Miesha Tate, with her signature armbar. Except this time it took Rousey three rounds to accomplish the feat.

Rousey was able to ultimately out maneuver Tate using her judo, striking and finally sealed the win with the armbar to which Miesha tapped rather quickly.

At the end of the fight, Tate went to shake Ronda’s hand and Ronda declined the invitation. Fans sounded off booing Ronda’s actions. Rousey simply shrugged off the crowd’s booing, stating that she knew she’d be the bad guy and for every fight she approaches it for what’s needed at the time.

Tate’s only words in the post-fight press conference were that she took on a challenge and tried to climb Mount Everest, but couldn’t get to the top.

Up next for Rousey, she will stay busy and fight Sara McMann at UFC 170 on February 22nd in Las Vegas. They will be the main event on the card. White informed media that Cat Zingano won’t be able to train until March and Ronda wanted another challenge right away.

Rousey also netted two bonuses Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night.

Heavyweight Travis Browne took home the Knockout of the Night bonus for his 60 second beatdown of Josh Barnett. Browne thwarted a takedown by Barnett attempted early on in the fight and went into beast mode from there. A crushing knee sent Barnett to the canvas and Browne immediately rained down elbows on his opponent that ended the bout.

Browne has earned himself the opportunity to get one step closer to UFC gold. He will fight Fabricio Werdum next in a heavyweight title eliminator.

Jim Miller rebounded into the win column after being submitted by Pat Healy at UFC 159. The lightweight was able to secure an armbar on Fabricio Camoes and got the 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt to tap.

Dustin Poirier continues to surge ahead as a contender in the UFC’s featherweight division with his dominant win over Diego Brandao. After Brandao missed weight, the staredown between him and Poirier was extremely heated. Poirier carried some of that fire into the cage with him and dismantled Brandao with a first round TKO finish.

“Diego missing weight really sucked because I busted my butt to make weight,” said Poirier in his post-fight interview. “I didn’t get to enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas because I’m a professional and making weight is what we agree to do. Honestly him missing weight isn’t what got me so angry though. He started yelling and trash talking before weigh ins because he claimed I looked at him weird or something. It felt good to finish him because of that little issue before we weighed in yesterday. I’m just fortunate that I have great coaches and teammates around me who help me get better every day.”

Standout performances on the preliminary card started with John “Doomsday” Howard channeling his inner Matt Hughes and slamming Siyar Bahadurzada in a highlight on the way to his decision victory. For Siyar, the loss was his second straight. It seemed he could never get going in the one-sided fight.

Another big winner was Michael Johnson who finished Gleison Tibau in the second round to start up a new win streak. He now has back-to-back wins with his decision over Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 26.

In a post-fight interview with MMA Fight Corner, Johnson said he knew he needed to start stringing together wins in order to keep his job. His two losses to Reza Madadi and Myles Jury really inspired him to improve.

Uriah Hall knocked Chris Leben with a flying knee that knocked him down to start the first round. By the end of the first, a right hand followed by punches left Leben unable to recover at the end of round one. He got up and went to his corner, but did not answer the bell for the second round.

The loss was Leben’s fourth straight and the question as to whether or not he steps away from the sport has yet to be answered.

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