Despite the numbers that follow major events, UFC 166 was actually the 249th event the promotion has produced in its nearly 20-year existence. That’s thousands of fights spanning 20 years and two different management teams. There have been highlights and lowlights and everything in between, and as the shows pile up, it gets more and more difficult to rank things in their proper context.
Last night’s UFC 166, however, was an undisputed thriller. Few could argue with that after everything it delivered. And UFC president Dana White went one step further in his praise of the show his fighters put on, handing them the biggest superlative he could muster.
“Without a doubt, the greatest fight card we’ve ever had,” he said moments after the main event.
How accurate was that? It’s a matter of opinion, of course, but the card featured eight finishes in 13 fights, including seven big knockouts and one submission. There was some spectacular back-and-forth action in the women’s match between Jessica Eye and Sarah Kaufman, and then things went to another level of intensity with an epic three-round war between Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez that went the distance and had the Toyota Center roaring in approval. White later called it a “Mexican world war.”
Finally, Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos completed the rubber match to their rivalry with Velasquez prevailing but dos Santos showing an incredible will to compete in the face of a tremendous beating.
The event drew 17,238 to the Toyota Center, and even after White had more time to collect his thoughts, he was still basking in the afterglow during his opening remarks at the post-fight press conference.
“What a night,” he said. “Was that amazing, guys, or what? Holy sh*t.”