It’s not quite New Year’s Eve, but our friends at ZUFFA are ending 2013 with a bang!
UFC 168, from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada promises to bring the fireworks tonight, with two big title matches at middleweight and women’s bantamweight, a heavyweight attraction between two of the sport’s best, and much more.
The Pay-Per-View broadcast begins at 7 pm EST/ 7 pm PST. Our coverage begins at 1 pm EST / 4 pm PST. Please join us, and press refresh for the latest updates!
Preliminary Bouts (Webcast at UFC.com)
Robbie Peralta vs. Estevan Payan (Featherweights)
Both guys are known to like to stand and bang, so this should be a fun opener. Arizona Combat’s Payan enters to Daddy Yankee. A minor favorite in this bout, California’s (-165) Peralta is known to have good leg kicks to negate Payan’s reach.
Round One: Leg kick from Peralta, then a pair of roundhouse punches. Takedown from Peralta right into Payan’s half guard. Peralta lands a few short punches but Payan spins to his feet. Exchange of knees in the clinch, then takedown — again right into half guard, by Peralta. Payan with a sweet reversal, right into side control. Nice elbows by Payan. Good punch and elbows from Payan, and they spin to their feet as time expires. Close, but Payan’s better striking on the ground carried it on my card. 10-9, Payan.
Round Two: Exchange of kicks to begin. Peralta looks wild with his punching, switching leads often, but lands great leg kicks. Leg kick by Payan. Body kick by Peralta, straight right by Payan. Great body lock by Payan, into a solid takedown. Payan with a good punch in side control. Peralta scoots into half guard, then full. Payan stands and Peralta follows. Good knee to the body by Payan. They clinch against the cage as time expires. Another very close round, this time I don’t think Payan was effective enough in the ground sequence. 10-10, even round.
Round Three: Peralta steps in with windmill punches — HUGE LEFT HAND lands by Peralta! Payan crumbles to the cage, Peralta continues the assault, and referee Yves Levigne steps in at 0:12 of round three.
Robbie Peralta defeats Estevan Payanby by TKO (punches) at 0:12 of round three.
William “Patolino” Macario vs. Bobby Voelker (Welterweights)
Interesting contrast here: at 22, TUF Brasil 2 semifinalist “Patolino” Macario is one of the youngest fighters on the UFC roster — and he’s got an old vet as an opponent in 34 year old Voelker. Voelker is a (-145) favorite but I’m a fan of Patolino; he’s a good striker with a bright future.
Round One: Nice leg kicks from “Patalino,” then a right. Good uppercut from “Patolino.” Left hook counter from Voelker. Great right to the body from “Patolino,” big right hand again. “Patolino” scores right hand, knee to the face combo. Elbow from “Patolino.” Good takedown by the Brazilian, but Voelker spins to his feet. Another good right from “Patolino.” Voelker staggers about the Octagon, as time expires. 10-9, Macario.
Round Two: Voelker looking better to begin, landing a left-right combo. Macario misses a right. Voelker continues to move forward but isn’t landing much. “Patolino” with the takedown. Voelker spins up, Macario landing knees to the body against the cage. Jab from Macario. Left hook from Macario. Elbow from Macario and Voelker looks cut. Big right hand counter to advancing Voelker. “Patolino” teeing off with right hands now — target practice. Big elbow. Voelker’s nose may be broken. Referee Mario Yamasaki steps in to have the doctor take a look. He allows the bout to continue. Voelker continues moving forward but lands little. 10-9, Macario.
Round Three: Voelker still a bloody mess. He steps in with wild punches but isn’t accurate at all. “Patolino” with a big left hook, shrugs off a Voelker shot. “Patolino” landing his right at will. Voelker still trying to come forward but it’s the same telegraphed windmill punching. Ref stops due to unintentional finger to Voelker’s eye, but we continue. “Patolino” with jab. Nice leg kick from Macario. Takedown from Macario as time expires. 10-9, Macario.
William Macario defeats Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Preliminary Bouts (Broadcast at Fox Sports 1)
John Howard vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (Welterweights)
Both guys known for their Muay Thai, but Siyar is a (-145) favorite, probably a nod to his explosiveness.
Round One: Good lead leg kicks from Siyar. Nice right from Howard. Siyar with a 1-2, misses a head kick. Siyar forces Howard to the cage, gets two good knees to the body. Howard checks Siyar’s leg kicks. Lots of missed punches from both guys. Howard tries a takedown but Siyar shrugs him off. Howard charges forward with another takedown and gets it. Siyar in half guard. Howard passes to mount, then back mount, but Siyar rises to escape. Siyar pushes forward with punches, Howard with a counter right. Close, but Siyar’s strikes were just a little more effective. 10-9, Bahadurzada.
Round Two: Big left hook from Howard! Siyar steps back and hits a punching combo. They clinch against the cage, Howard with a few uppercuts. Siyar turns him around for a good left to the body and right upstairs. Takedown by Siyar. Howard attacks with triangle but Siyar escapes easily. They get back their feet. Good knee to the body by Siyar. They exchange punches and elbows, pace slowing way down. Action is slowing way down now. Siyar with knee to the body. Howard with an uppercut. They lean to the cage. Siyar looking for a Kimura, and Howard lifts him for a big slam. Time expires on another close round, but Howard was a little more accurate. 10-9, Howard.
Round Three: More of the same. Howard landing jabs, Siyar looking exhausted. Howard with a ncie series of hooks. Good uppercut from Howard. Good takedown, into mount, then rear mount with hooks. Howard looking for the rear naked choke. Siyar defending as time expires. Easy round for Howard. 10-9, Howard.
They announce the score, and Howard won every round from each judge.
John Howard defeats Siyar Bahadurzada via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Dennis Siver vs. Manny Gamburyan (Featherweights)
Round One: Siver with his lead leg round kick, and again. Siver with a left hook and takes Manny down. Manny looking for armbar. A few hammer-fists from Siver. Manny looks to spin for leg lock, but no dice. Back up, Siver with jabs, leg kicks. Good right by Siver, good left hook from Manny. Manny tries the spinning back kick and glances. Good right leg kick from Siver. Manny rolls for leglock, Siver gets on top for some punches. They scramble and Siver ends up with Manny’s back standing as time expires. 10-9, Siver.
Round Two: Siver with another crisp punching combo. Manny with a takedown. Siver controls his posture, lands a few short shots. Manny lands a few of his own. Siver is cut. Manny looking energized (finally) moves to half guard. Manny with some elbows, Siver scrambles to his feet. Right leg kick from Siver. Manny tries another spinning kick, which misses. Siver with a 3-2. They clinch, and a good takedown off the cage from Manny. Great series of elbows from Manny. 10-9, Gamburyan.
Round Three: Great inside leg kick from Siver. Good front kick from Siver. Another leg kick from Siver, but it lands low and referee Herb Dean halts the action. Siver with a takedown. Manny attacks with elbows from the bottom and a guillotine. Punches to the body from Siver as Manny looks for a Kimura. Siver takes Manny’s back in a scramble, with hooks, then a body triangle. Good punches from back control from Siver. Manny defending the choke well. Siver with more punches, and they’re entangled against the cage. Siver continues with the punches as time expires. 10-9, Siver. This bout should be an easy call, two rounds to one… but let’s see…
Dennis Siver defeats Manny Gamburyan by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Gleison Tibau vs. Michael Johnson (Lightweights)
Two southpaws, based out of South Florida. Tibau is a slight favorite, and gets a big cheer from the Brazilians in the crowd.
Round One: Tibau checks a leg kick, lands a left hook. Nice 3-2 from Tibau. Tibau looking a big bigger, and more fluid with his punching. Nice inside leg kick from Johnson. Johnson switches to orthodox and lands an overhand right. Good right to the body from Johnson. Both guys miss jabs. Tibau shoots a takedown and is stuffed. Johnson with a nice jab, looking more and more confident. They clinch against the cage as time expires. Close round, but I’ll go with Johnson, 10-9.
Round Two: They continue to trade, with Johnson moving better and landing jabs and straight hands. Tibau comes forward with a right hook, and BOOM! Johnson with a straight left. Tibau drops to the mat. Johnson pounces with hammer-fists, and the fight is stopped as Tibau is motionless.
Michael Johnson defeats Gleison Tibau by KO (punch) at 1:32 of round two.
Chris Leben vs. Uriah Hall (Middleweights)
Hall a -300 favorite. Wow! Old vet Leben gets a nice ovation.
Round One: Big flying knee to start from Hall! Leben recovers, but is caught by a front kick to the body by Hall. Leg kick from Leben. Hall circling away from Leben. Hall with an uppercut. Hall with a knee to the body. Hall with front kick to the body and a jab, mixing the attack up well. Leben is bleeding. Leben missing with jabs. Nice elbow from Hall, still circling away and hitting counters. Good leg kick from Leben. Hall keeps circling away and the crowd boo’s a little. Good leg kick from Hall. Good right hand drops Leben to the mat! Hall pounces for punches but the bell sounds. Maybe a 10-8 but I’ll go 10-9, Hall.
Leben is reported as asking for the fight to be stopped between rounds.
Uriah Hall defeats Chris Leben by TKO, end of round one.
Hall actually apologizes to the crowd for not going the distance, then dedicates the win to the memory of Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker, and Shane Del Rosario.
Main Card (Pay-Per-View)
Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao (Catchweight of 151.5 lbs)
A pumped up Brandao enters the ring to Darude’s “Sandstorm,” Wanderlei Silva’s old theme. It is claimed that the Brazilian, the TUF 14 winner, was unable to make weight due to a car accident (?). Louisiana’s Poirier, now with ATT in Florida, is a (-270) favorite.
Round One: Brandao with a side kick. Poirier with leg kicks. Poirier with a 3-2, Brandao with a leg kick. Big right from Dustin after he catches Brandao’s leg. Brazilians in the crowd starting their chants and songs. Good body kick, then right hand from Dustin. Brandao with a takedown, but Poirier right back up. Good body punching against the cage , hard 3-2 up top. Brandao is getting “lit up” here. Brandao crumbles to the mat after a series of punches. Poirier pounces for more punches and Mario Yamasaki steps in!
Dustin Poirier defeats Diego Brandao by TKO (punches) at 4:54 of round one.
Jim Miller vs. Fabrício Camões (Lightweights)
Miller a big favorite: -380. Camões has Royler Gracie in his corner, Miller is of Renzo Gracie lineage.
Round One: Slow start as they both advance with short punches and land little. Good left hook by Camões. 3-2 by Camões. Camões goes for head kick, glances, but is taken down. Camões scrambles to his feet, gets a takedown of his own. Miller attacks with an armbar — and gets it!
Jim Miller defeats Fabrício Camões by submission (armbar) at 3:42 of round one.
Josh Barnett vs. Travis Browne (Heavyweights)
Round One: Clinch immediately where Barnett lands knee to the body. Hapa with a jab. Leg kick by Josh. Hapa lands a left hook and a knee to the chin. Josh looking for takedown, Hapa lands a series of elbows to the head. Josh is out! 0:59 KO for Hapa.
Josh Barnett defeats Travis Browne by KO (elbows) at 0:59 of round one.
Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate (For Rousey’s UFC Women’s Bantamweight Title)
Round One: Both ladies attack with 1-2’s. Rousey gets her clinch and rolls Tate to the mat, but Tate scrambles to her feet. Tate with a front kick and bulls in for a surprise takedown. Rousey looks for armbar but Tate able to posture out. Rousey looking for triangle position and lands some elbows from the bottom. Tate slips out, lands a good left hook standing. Tate bloodied, Rousey with a good takedown. Rousey looking for the back, then looking to isolate an arm. Miesha rolls out and gets to her feet again. Miesha tries a takedown but Rousey reverses into a beautiful throw. Crowd chanting “Miesha!” Good right from Miesha. Time expires, amazing round that I’m scoring even. 10-10.
Round Two: Both missing 1-2’s, Rousey gets takedown, Tate drops to the mat. Great up-kick from Tate. Another throw off a shot from Tate. Tate scrambles to her feet. Against the cage, Rousey with knees to the legs.Rousey with a throw, landing in “scarf-hold.” Tate escapes but ends up mounted. Rousey with big punches in the mount, looks for armbar. Miesha escapes again! Crowd going nuts as Tate gets to turtle position. Rousey looking for reverse triangle. Tate again rolls out, and the round ends. 10-9, Rousey.
Round Three: Rousey with a throw, Tate almost rolls out of it. Rousey takes the top, rolls through with her patented armbar submission. Rousey ignores Tate’s extending of a hand, eliciting more boo’s from the crowd.
Ronda Rousey defeats Miesha Tate by submission (armbar) at 0:58 of round three.
Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva (For Weidman’s UFC Middleweight Title)
Round One: Silva takes center Octagon. Weidman looking for jab and front kick to body. Weidman with takedown, but Silva skips back to his feet. Against the cage, looking for underhooks. Weidman lands a big right, and “The Spider” crumbles to the mat! Silva in guard, gets blasted with rights. Weidman looking for choke. Silva looking for arm triangle from guard. Weidman grabs him in can opener position. Elbows from Weidman, Silva looks a little shaken. Big elbow from Weidman. Silva hits an elbow from the bottom and some punches. Big elbow from Weidman. Weidman is bleeding from one of Silva’s shots from the bottom. Time expires on a tough round for the challenger. 10-8, Weidman.
Round Two: Both guys moving in and out, pawing with jabs and kicks to the body. Leg kick from Silva is checked — and Silva crumbles! Fight is stopped. Weidman will be TKO victor.
Replay shows the leg folded in half. A sickening break that should end Silva’s career.
Chris Weidman defeats Anderson Silva by TKO (injury attempting a leg kick) at 1:16 of round two.
What a night. Thanks for joining us!