5. Joe Silva can Match-Make
If you’re a bit hazy on the rest of the card before the odd and horrifying Anderson Silva injury, remember that the entire main card featured a finish, each more exciting and heart-pounding than the last. The new rivalry between Dustin Poirier and an overweight Diego Brandao made for a great opening while Jim Miller kept a spot among the top of the division by dispatching a less experience foe. The heavyweights brought it no matter how brief that fight was, delivering a nerve-wracking and fast paced start only to end abruptly one minute in.
The preliminary card was great to watch as well with a ton of fights that held significant importance not only to the fighters involved but to their respective divisions as well. These prelims also had a buzz around them because as as each one concluded, we were lone step closer to watching Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman 2.
4. Travis Browne Will Fight for a Title in 2014
Making a win look easy is tough. Making a win look easy against Josh Barnett is even tougher. Remember the focus and intensity Barnett showed on his walk to the Octagon, that was real. He was ready and willing to battle Travis Browne while showing him what nearly 40 fights worth of experience has taught him and what he has to offer as a fighter.
Browne wasn’t having any of that. Browne found his shots early and looked like a man well under 200+ pounds as he danced around Barnett while not sacrificing power for foot movement away from him. He timed that knee to Barnett’s face perfectly and finished him with elbows several of which were thrown to a propped up Barnett who had already lost consciousness.
3. Weidman is Really Good
Weidman is a fantastic mixed martial artist. Sure, the end of the fight didn’t live up to anyone’s expectations, even Weidman’s own fans were surely disappointed to some degree that he wasn’t able to validate the first win which had the ‘possible fluke’ asterisk next to it but he dominated that fight until the end.
The finish wasn’t a statement for Weidman but his control up until that point should be seared in the mind of would be contenders on what to avoid, although Weidman will have a new bag of tricks every time he fights.
Just like the first fight however, we are quick to forget the first round. In this round, the champion dominated, rocking Silva badly in what many believe is Silva’s most dangerous position, the muay thai clinch. Once on the ground, Weidman landed huge shots and torqued Silva’s neck to a bad angle which bothered Silva. It’s a weird thing to watch it but leg injury or not, Weidman had Silva’s number.
Belfort is next.
2. Ronda Rousey is Perhaps the Most Exciting Champion in the UFC
When Rousey fights, you expect that armbar. You also expect in the first round. This gives fans something to cheer either for against right from the get go and with that mean face that seems tattooed on, it makes for some serious pre-fight excitement.
Put her hated rival Miesha Tate across from her and you get an excellent title fight. These girls put on three rounds of action and really never let up with both threatening from every position.
Rousey showed a chin, a gas tank, and even more consistency as she won once again via armbar this time in the third round. Rousey has undeniable star power whether it is in a positive light for her next fight is yet to be seen. She will keep selling PPVs though and she will keep putting on these no holds barred matches where she attacks her opponent with impeccable technique mixing with sheer desire to finish them off and reclaim a belt that she has made a comfortable home for.
1. Anderson Silva’s Career Can Come to an End
Silva isn’t one of these longtime former champions who’s stuck around too long and he was never really past his prime, at least not visibly. What’s important here is that he got knocked unconscious when he lost his title and then suffered a horrifying leg injury in the same year, fighting the same man. A third fight isn’t one that anyone is asking for and he never won even a minute in the judges eyes in either fight.
He has had an incredible career and calling it quits is more than OK and should be understood by any reasonably minded person who follows this sport.
It was tough to watch him go out like that but he has money and an untouchable legacy that he can fall back on. At just 38 years old he still has an entire life ahead of him as well.
Fans of Silva call it another fluke, fans of Weidman call Silva a litany of names. Lets put it to rest, Weidman is the reigning middleweight champion and Anderson Silva can fold up a career that time will never erase.
For more coverage from UFC 168 visit SciFighting.com