Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 | 6:55 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 | 9:47 p.m.
Note: Full results from the preliminary card available at the bottom of the page.
Paramedics rolled the greatest mixed martial artist of all time out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena on a stretcher at the conclusion of UFC 168.
Anderson Silva grimaced and screamed as his teammates tried to comfort him. The era of “The Spider” officially ended in horror, with Chris Weidman beating the longtime middleweight champion for a second time with a gruesome TKO via injury.
Silva’s shin snapped and pointed in the wrong direction when Weidman checked a leg-kick at 1:16 of the second round. Silva immediately collapsed, and the referee called the fight.
“He’s still known as the greatest of all time,” Weidman said while still in the octagon. “All the props to Anderson Silva. God bless him.”
Weidman had a more triumphant exit. He wrapped an American flag around his shoulders and got swarmed by supporters on his way out of the arena.
It wasn’t an ideal finish, but Weidman had prepared for it. He said his coaches were most upset by how many leg kicks he took in the first fight with Silva at UFC 162 in July.
Checking Silva’s signature low strike became “the No. 1 thing” for Weidman in training camp.
“I was working with a lot of guys on those kicks,” Weidman said. “People can’t fathom the fact that I’m coming here and beating these guys.”
Weidman wasn’t the only champion to retain his title at the promotion’s annual year-end pay-per-view card. Ronda Rousey submitted Miesha Tate via armbar at 0:58 of the third round, by far the longest fighter of her career, in the co-main event.
The crowd engulfed Rousey in boos, to the point that her post-fight interview was indecipherable, when she refused to shake Tate’s hand after the victory.
Rousey is expected to face Cat Zingano in her first title defense of 2014. Weidman will get Vitor Belfort.
Before the headlining fights, Travis Browne knocked out Josh Barnett exactly a minute into their heavyweight bout with standing elbows. Jim Miller and Dustin Poirier scored first-round stoppages, too.
Miller submitted Fabricio Camoes via armbar at 3:42 of the round, while Poirier won with a TKO over Diego Brandao six seconds before the bell.
Check back to lasvegassun.com for full coverage later and look below for round-by-round updates from the main card. Preliminary-card results are at the bottom.
Promoters inherently exaggerate their events.
They fluff and boast about fighters and their fights to stir interest and create sales. UFC President Dana White is a master, routinely exalting his company’s cards to new level.
He’s brought out the bluster again leading up to UFC 168, but it doesn’t seem necessary. And it doesn’t seem the least bit insincere.
White says through 13 years in his position, he’s never been as excited for a card as he is for tonight’s annual year-end pay-per-view at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. He’s not the only one.
In this day and age of the UFC, where some months feature as many as four events, it’s not just rare to find two of the three biggest stars in the sport fighting on the same night. It’s unprecedented.
But that’s what will happen at UFC 168, with longtime middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva looking to regain his title in a rematch against Chris Weidman and budding women’s bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey facing longtime foil Miesha Tate.
The event is officially sold out, and the fans were lined up at the venue early, to make a live gate approaching $7 million. That would rank near the top in the history of the company.
Not to mention the UFC hopes it can approach a million pay-per-view buys. Half of that would make for one of the best-selling cards of the year, and around what Rousey vs. Tate II could bring alone.
The second women’s title fight in UFC history was originally announced as the UFC 168 headliner, but the grudge match between Silva and Weidman landed at the event to push it down.
For the first time since his third fight in the UFC, Silva won’t be the last fighter to enter the arena. He’ll also be wearing blue-taped gloves.
It still all feels surreal after Weidman snapped Silva’s perfect 16-0 UFC record in July with a second-round knockout victory. Silva initially said he didn’t want the rematch, but changed his mind within five days.
He remains the favorite, but it’s Weidman who has the belt he must take. Silva isn’t the only challenger coming off of a loss, as Tate dropped a title eliminator to Cat Zingano in April but still wound up with the opportunity after an injury.
It’s the most important fight of her career, as it’s hard to imagine Tate ever getting a third chance at Rousey with another loss.
Before the co-headliners, an important heavyweight bout between Josh Barnett and Travis Browne takes place with the winner beelined into a title eliminator against Fabricio Werdum.
Lightweights Jim Miller and Fabricio Camoes are also on the card, as well as a catchweight fight between Dustin Poirier and Diego Brandao. It was scratched as a official featherweight matchup when Brandao missed weight by seven points Friday.
Check below for full results from the undercard and stay tuned for round-by-round coverage of the main card.
Uriah Hall scored knockdowns in the opening and closing seconds of the first rounds, hurting Chris Leben enough that he didn't feel he could go on. Leben quit on his stool before the second round, officially awarding Hall a TKO victory at 5:00 of the first round. Leben mouthed, "I'm done," while walking out of the octagon to likely signal his retirement.
Michael Johnson knocked out Gleison Tibau at 1:32 of the second round in a lightweight bout. The underdog caught the veteran, who hadn't been knocked out since UFC 65 seven years ago, flush with a left hand on the ear.
Dennis Siver defeated Manvel Gamburyan by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in a lightweight bout. Siver controlled the first and third rounds, but got cut open by shots from Gamburyan in the second.
John Howard won his second straight fight since returning to the UFC. Howard defeated Siyar Bahadurzada by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) in a welterweight bout.
Those thirsty for blood got their fill early, as William Macario turned Bobby Voelker into a mess with his striking. Macario defeated Voelker via unanimous decision — winning every round according to every judge — in a welterweight bout. Voelker needed to go straight to the hospital after Macario busted his nose early to turn the fight into one of the UFC's bloodiest.
Robbie Peralta came back from losing both of the first two rounds to score a stunning finish against Estevan Payan in a featherweight bout. Peralta came forward swinging and knocked out Payan 12 seconds into the third round.