FIGHT BLOG RECAP: Anderson Silva breaks leg in main event, Rousey wins by armbar
Dec 28, 2013 at 7:17p ET
The most anticipated rematch in UFC history ended in the worst possible way.
Former pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva broke his left leg on a kick in the second round against Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 168 on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Silva crumpled to the canvas immediately in intense pain and referee Herb Dean stopped the fight, giving Weidman the win by unlikely TKO. The gruesome break could be clearly seen in replays.
The ugly finish marred what had been an incredible year-end card. Ronda Rousey defended her women's bantamweight title against Miesha Tate with an armbar in the third round. It was Rousey's toughest battle to date -- the only time she has been out of the first round in eight pro fights. Afterward, Tate extended her hand to shake and Rousey blew her off.
Also on the main card, Travis Browne knocked out Josh Barnett with nasty elbows in the first round. Jim Miller beat Fabricio Camoes with a slick armbar in the first round and Dustin Poirier finished Diego Brandao via TKO in the first round as well.
Middleweight title fight:
Chris Weidman (10-0) vs. Anderson Silva (33-5)
We all know the back story. This is the biggest rematch in UFC history.
Silva taking a long time in the back, crouching down, meditating. Praying?
No crawling into the ring for Silva, either. Definitely seems like a different Anderson. Not normal.
Weidman out to "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty again, draped in the American flag.
So, I have no idea what's going to happen in this fight.
Herb Dean is the referee. They touch gloves.
Mike Goldberg: "Anderson's hands are up." Alright then.
Weidman goes for the takedown. Silva gets up.
Silva lands a knee in the clinch.
Weidman hurts Silva in the clinch! He goes down. Ground and pound for Weidman. Silva survives somehow. Whoa.
Silva holding Weidman in guard now. Weidman's BJJ is great. Keep that in mind.
Weidman is using the can opener move, pulling on Silva's neck. Not much damage being done though.
Elbow by Weidman and some punches. That hurt Silva.
Big punches by Weidman from the top. Silva coming back with punches from the bottom. Shades of the Sonnen fights.
Weidman lands an elbow and a punch. Silva again with hammer fists from the bottom.
Under a minute now. Weidman is cut from those elbows from the bottom. Weidman lands a big elbow.
Weidman lands a big punch at the end of the round. Weidman is also bloodied from his nose.
10-9 Weidman -- Maybe 10-8? Weidman controlled the round from the top and that was after knocking Silva down with a right hand to the ear.
Let's see how Silva comes out in the second round.
Leg kick by Silva.
Silva hurt his leg badly on a kick! What a terrible way for this to end.
He broke his leg. Oh my goodness. Oh no.
This is not the right way for this to end.
Weidman checked the kick and Silva's leg almost snapped in half.
Official result: Chris Weidman defeats Anderson Silva by TKO in the second round (1:16)
Analysis: Man. I don't even know what to say. This could be it for Silva's career. And Weidman can't get a "clean" win over him. This is just the worst possible result for the UFC.
Women's bantamweight title:
Ronda Rousey (7-0) vs. Miesha Tate (13-4)
A Ronda Rousey armbar relatively quickly is expected, but who knows? When you have two rivals like this in a sport like MMA, it can be a crap shoot. Tate has a puncher's chance for sure, even though Rousey is a huge favorite.
Tate out to "Roar" by Katy Perry and she's singing along with it. Joe Rogan just called Rousey a "crazy, beautiful bulldog." Oh.
Rousey's walkout is one of the best in MMA. She could not be more serious and intense. Scary. And she's coming out to Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation." Awesome.
Mario Yamasaki gets the assignment for this one. No glove touch. Of course.
Ronda ties up Tate. And throws her down. Tate is back up and eats a knee.
Rousey has Miesha up against the cage, working some knees. Dirty boxing. That's new.
Still up against the cage. Takedown Rousey.
Tate goes for a triangle and Rousey powers out. Tate takes Rousey down!
Ronda on the bottom. Tate in guard. Ronda looking for a triangle.
Offense from the bottom. Punches from Rousey. Still looking for that triangle. Tate is all tied up yet still on top.
Tate is out and they're up. Tate is busted open.
Tate with a combination! Ronda takes her down. Rousey on top.
Going for the arm! No. Tate is back on top and she's letting Ronda up.
Tate goes for the takedown and Rousey slams her down. Wow. That was sick.
Ronda is letting Miesha up. Clinch against the cage.
This is now further than Rousey has ever gone in an MMA fight. Rousey finishes the round with some punches agains the cage. And Tate is out of the first round.
10-9 Rousey -- Ronda was on the bottom, but put a hurting on Miesha's face with punches and elbows. Tate had her moments, but certainly Rousey's round. It's written all over Tate's bloody face. Let's see how Rousey comes out in the second round -- uncharted territory.
Tate is smiling.
Tate is hitting Rousey with up kicks and she's hurt. Tate goes for a takedown and Rousey reverses it again.
Rousey lets her up. So weird. Takedown Rousey. Tate is holding her own.
Rousey trying to get Tate's back, but it doesn't work. Tate is up against the cage. Ronda throwing some knees.
Big knee to the body by Rousey. Ronda throws Miesha down.
Rousey is side control. Tate goes for the arm bar! No. Rousey has it now. Wow.
Rousey in mount. Ground and pound. Rousey is landing hard. Going for the armbar.
She has it! Nope. Tate pops out. Unreal. What a fight.
Ronda is still hunting for that arm and throwing some punches too.
Rousey is going for a reverse triangle. This is crazy. Tate is defending well. Time running down.
Tate will survive. Amazing display of heart and athleticism from both women.
10-9 Rousey -- Tate is so tough. Rousey had her in so many tight spots, including a very tight armbar, and Tate managed to get out of all of them. Such a great fight. Rousey in the third round now. Wow.
Rousey closes the distance and pushes Tate against the cage. Ronda drags her down.
Rousey takes so many chances on the ground. Crazy.
Ronda has the armbar! And that's it. Tate taps this time. Wow.
Tate extends her hand and Rousey blows her off. Still no love.
Rousey looks very upset after the fight as Dana White puts the belt on her.
Official result: Ronda Rousey defeats Miesha Tate by submission at :58 of the third round
Analysis: Well, Rousey is human. But she's still the best women's fighter in the world. Her technique is top notch, but she takes so many chances on the ground. It's only a matter of time before someone makes her pay. Tate wasn't the person to do it, but she was more than game, as expected. The only problem for Miesha is will anyone buy a third fight between these two? Unlikely.
Josh Barnett (33-6) vs. Travis Browne (15-1-1)
The most overlooked fight of the night. This should be a really, really fun heavyweight fight. The winner likely meets Fabricio Werdum for the No. 1 contender spot. Hard to say which way this one goes. Barnett is one of the best ever and Browne is tough with power in his hands. And feet, if you're Alistair Overeem.
Yves Lavigne is the referee for this heavyweight fight.
Barnett closes the distance briefly, but Browne slips away. Barnett is going to want to take this to the ground on the double.
Barnett goes for a takedown against the cage and Browne elbows the hell out of him. Whoa. That was savage. Barnett is bloodied. It's over!
That was quick. Wow. Did not see that coming at all. Browne just obliterated Barnett's ear with elbows.
Official result: Travis Browne defeats Josh Barnett by KO in the first round (1:00)
Analysis: Incredibly impressive performance by Browne. Barnett makes a living in that position against the cage and Browne absolutely eradicated him with elbows. Insane. Browne might not be at the level of Cain Velasquez, but he's put himself right up there at heavyweight. Werdum should be next. Back to the drawing board for Barnett, who is still one of the elite guys at age 36. His window of opportunity is closing, though.
Jim Miller (22-4, 1 NC) vs. Fabricio Camoes (14-7-1)
If you're playing which-one-of-these-is-not-like-the-other for UFC 168, Camoes sticks out. Not quite sure why he's in there against Miller, but hey, let's give him a shot.
Herb Dean is the ref for this lightweight fight.
Miller is coming off that loss against Pat Healy that turned into a no contest. Camoes hasn't fought since a loss last year's loss against Melvin Guillard.
Camoes went for a head kick. Miller grabs it and slams him down. Miller has his back, sort of. Camoes transitions into top position. Odd positioning.
Miller looking for an armbar from the bottom. And gets it! Camoes taps. Wow.
Official result: Jim Miller defeats Fabricio Camoes by submission in the first round (3:42)
Analysis: Miller is one of the most fun guys to watch in the lightweight division. He's rarely in a bad fight and is so dangerous on the ground with submissions. His time as a title contender at 155 might be up, but the Jersey boy is still one of the toughest guys out there. Camoes is a very good Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and Miller outclassed him. Camoes is 35 now and has lost two straight. Not sure where he goes from here -- if anywhere.
Dustin Poirier (14-3) vs. Diego Brandao (18-8)
Mike Goldberg is a little hoarse and the main card hasn't even started yet.
Brandao didn't have the decency to make weight yesterday (he was off initially by a ridiculous eight pounds), which really seemed to piss Poirier off. I expect fireworks in this one. Both guys can really throw down.
Brandao is fired up, man. And the Brazilian-heavy crowd loves him.
Mario Yamasaki is your referee for the featherweight bout.
Poirier lands a nice right. It wobbles Brandao briefly.
Brandao looks a little thick around the midsection. At least as far as 145-pound UFC fighters go.
The two exchange punches. Both guys are so explosive.
Poirier winds up and hammers Brandao with a punch and Brandao just eats it. Damn. No pun intended on the eat part, either.
Poirier lands a combination and then slips.
Poirier lands another big right hand. Brandao has a great chin.
Brandao shoots for a sloppy double leg and gets it. But Poirier is up quickly. He's working Brandao over against the cage.
Poirier is lighting up the Brazilian and then takes him down as Brandao looks up at the clock.
Poirier drops Brandao and is swarming. Brandao is in a bad way. Hammer fists! Ground and pound! That's it!
Official result: Dustin Poirier defeats Diego Brandao by TKO in the first round (4:54)
Analysis: Poirier looked great. Technical striking, some power. Mixed in some grappling. He's 24 years old and it wouldn't be crazy to peg him as a future champion at 145. As for Brandao, he has all the potential in the world, but seemed to give up toward the end of the first round when he got rocked. You can't be looking up at the clock like that when you're in danger. Hopefully Brandao gets it together with his weight issues and comes back strong. Poirier, on the other hand, is on the fast track now.
Uriah Hall (7-4) vs. Chris Leben (22-10)
Loser leaves town? Could be. Hall is 0-2 in the UFC after being perhaps the most hyped prospect to ever come out of The Ultimate Fighter. Leben has lost three straight and four of his last five. He hasn't looked very good in any of those losses. Could be time for him to hang it up if he doesn't win here.
Flying knee to the chest by Hall! He's already done more than in his last two fights.
Leben is talking crap in the cage. Hall lands another knee.
Leben is walking Hall down. Ever the aggressor. Leben cut under both eyes.
Hall is such an athletic freak. Makes it look easy sometimes.
Leben can't hit Hall. Too elusive.
Hall is content to counter. Crowd doesn't like it much.
Hall ducks under a huge left by Leben. Hall catches Leben at the end of the round and swarms! Leben is saved by the ball.
Leben has no idea where he is and that's it. He calls it quits after the first round. Wow. You rarely see that.
Official result: Uriah Hall defeats Chris Leben by TKO after the first round
Analysis: That was really weird. Leben seemed to think he lost the fight by TKO before the bell. After the first round, he said "I'm done" like the fight was over. Joe Rogan is saying on Fox Sports 1 that it was Leben's choice to end the fight. Not 100 percent sure of that. Bruce Buffer says it was referee Steve Mazzagatti's choice after a suggestion from the doctor. Just very strange.
Michael Johnson (13-8) vs. Gleison Tibau (28-9)
Johnson never looked better back in August against Joe Lauzon. Is this his time to take his game to the next level? Tibau is a tough opponent, probably the biggest lightweight in the UFC. He's won two in a row.
Did you know Tibau's real name is Janigleison Herculano Alves? That's not even close to Gleison Tibau. I feel like I've been living a lie this whole time.
Holy crap that's a loud Brazilian crowd. They love Tibau.
I don't know what they're chanting at MGM Grand, but it's loud and in Portuguese.
Johnson tags Tibau with a right hand. Biggest shot of the fight so far. Not that much has happened.
Tibau tries to muscle Johnson against the cage and does. That's his best bet in this fight -- using his silly strength.
10-9 Johnson -- Johnson is the more technical striker and landed more standing up. It wasn't significant, though. It was a pretty uneventful round.
The referee, by the way, is Canada's own Yves Lavigne.
Johnson drops Tibau with a left hand and Tibau is out. Wow. Came out of nowhere.
It was a counter left. Tibau was coming in and got caught in the ear. Johnson followed up with two hammer fists and that was it.
Official result: Michael Johnson defeats Gleison Tibau by knockout in the second round (1:32)
Analysis: Well, Johnson is only getting better. He's 27 years old, in the prime of his career, and perhaps readying to make a modest run in the 155-pound division. The St. Louis native hasn't shown much KO power in his career until tonight, but if he adds that to his repertoire he's a pretty tough dude. Tibau is no joke -- and very durable. With his wrestling and improving striking, Johnson is going to be a problem moving forward.
I like this fight. But it could very well be a second straight dud. As you can see, I'm rather chipper tonight.
Herb Dean is the referee for this featherweight fight.
Sweet takedown by Siver. He does that much more nowadays.
Rogan just said the word "crotch" and I giggled.
Gamburyan is looking for that arm bar that Ronda Rousey taught him from the bottom.
Gamburyan rolls for a leg lock. Doesn't work. Both back up.
Nice body kick by Siver. I don't see why Siver doesn't just try to pick him apart from distance. He's the better striker.
Gamburyan nails a couple of good punches, though. He still has power in those Armenian fists.
Gamburyan with the takedown. That was big. He can steal this round here with just over a minute left. Manny going for another leg lock, but Siver is landing some big ground and pound on him.
Siver has Manny's back and Gamburyan stands up. Manny just looked up at the clock. He's going to try and survive and he will.
10-9 Siver -- Siver had a takedown and got Gamburyan's back late in the round. He also landed the more technical strikes. Obviously his round.
Siver knocks Gamburyan down with a big punch. And Siver isn't going for the kill. Wow.
Total strikes landed? 70-5 for Siver. It doesn't seem like that much.
Siver goes for a guillotine and ends up on the bottom. Bad move. Gamburyan can regain some momentum here.
Manny is looking for the dreaded shoulder strikes. Siver is busted open. Not from the shoulder strikes, though. It was an elbow he snuck in there.
Siver's bloodied up good. Top of his forehead. Gamburyan slips to half guard. Siver is up!
Siver lands a nice combination against the cage. Gamburyan with another takedown. This is going to be very tough to score.
Manny is in half guard. Time running out on the round and he lands some ground and pound. This is his round now. Interesting fight.
10-9 Gamburyan -- Manny opened up Siver with some ground and pound and landed a pretty significant takedown toward the end of the round plus some more ground and pound. I've got it 19-19 heading into the third for the second straight fight.
Gamburyan miffs on a spinning back kick. You can't pull a Dennis Siver on Dennis Siver.
Nut shot by Siver. With all the inside leg kicks he throws, it's a wonder he doesn't land on the cup more often.
That's the technique Manny probably wanted to use on Anthony Gutierrez during The Ultimate Fighter this season.
Siver gets a takedown. Manny very active with elbows from the bottom. Siver working the body with some ground and pound. Manny looking for a kimura.
Siver has his back and keeps it after the two roll over together. Cool visual. Siver lands some punches. Gamburyan turtles up. Siver throwing some elbows.
Siver just riding Gamburyan at this point. Still landing some short punches.
Time running down on the fight. Gamburyan needs to do something now. And he won't.
10-9 Siver, 29-28 Siver -- That was the easiest round to call. Siver controlled basically the entire five minutes from dominant position and had Gamburyan's back for a big percentage of the round.
Official result: Dennis Siver defeats Manny Gamburyan by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Analysis: No, it wasn't pretty. But Siver got the job done. Surprisingly, he actually out grappled Gamburyan throughout despite being taken down three times. Siver was the best fighter in every aspect. Manny's two-fight win streak is snapped. He's really nothing more than gatekeeper at 145. Siver is only slightly better.
Both guys can straight mash, so you would expect this one to end in a knockout. But how many times does it actually turn out that way?
Steve Mazzagatti is the referee for this welterweight contest.
Brittney Palmer looks -- how do I say this? -- more endowed than usual. Biggest event of the year indeed.
Striking battle as expected early. Bahadurzada is landing and Howard goes for a takedown. Pretty clear he wasn't getting the better of those exchanges.
Clinch work against the cage with nothing notable happening. Howard's corner just shouted "game plan!" That must be going for takedowns, because Bahadurzada is landing.
Howard shoots for a takedown and gets it. He's in half guard. Enough to win the round? Perhaps, though he was losing up until this point.
Howard is in mount and has Bahadurzada's back. Siyar is back up, though. Couldn't do anything with it.
Bahadurzada 10-9 -- Howard was in top control for a bit and even got mount, but Siyar did more on the feet. Did I mention I hate typing Bahadurzada?
Howard lands a flurry quickly. Bahadurzada counters and it looks like we're finally in a fight.
Howard is trying that jumping left hook over and over and it's fooling no one. Another takedown attempt by Howard. No dice.
Siyar mounting some offense and lands a takedown. He's in guard. It sounded like someone farted on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast. Was that Rogan? Yeah, this one is a stinker so far.
Bahadurzada stands back up. He looks exhausted. Not sure why. He hasn't done anything.
Howard with a combination to counter some slow-moving punches. Howard is landing a bit and this is his round so far. As I type that, he falls against the cage looking tired. Yikes.
This is a welterweight right, right? Because it has all the action of a mediocre heavyweight bout.
Howard just went all WWE on Bahadurzada -- a Lex Luger-esque torture rack and then a slam. Samoan drop perhaps?
10-9 Howard -- Awful fight, but Howard might have saved it with that ridiculous slam. I have it 19-19 heading into the second, but the real loser is the fans.
Howard lands some punches and Siyar eggs him on. Either that or he's completely exhausted and can't raise his hands.
Bahadurzada goes for a big knee, but it doesn't land clean.
Siyar actually puts his hands on his hips and he's not Anderson Silva. No bueno.
Howard takes him down and he might be in this position for awhile. Siyar is super tired.
Howard rocks the Afghani with some big ground and pound. Half guard now for Howard.
Mount for Howard. Bahadurzada is in big trouble. Remember when people thought he was a prospect? Oh, right. That was coming into this fight.
Siyar just punched himself in the face. First own TKO ever?
Howard has his back. Time is running down. He's hunting for that rear naked choke. Won't get it. Fight is over. Mercifully.
10-9 Howard -- That was brutal. Howard might have won all three rounds, but he definitely won the last two. Mostly by default, though. Bahadurzada got tired quickly and never got a second wind.
Official result: John Howard defeats Siyar Bahadurzada by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Analysis: Bahadurzada was very disappointing. This is the guy who was supposed to be an exciting prospect? Not so much. No cardio. And it's hard to get excited about Howard's performance. He's now 2-0 since returning to the UFC, but didn't look all that impressive against Uriah Hall in August, either.
Main card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva
Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate
Josh Barnett vs. Travis Browne
Jim Miller vs. Fabricio Camoes
Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao
Undercard (FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)
Chris Leben vs. Uriah Hall
Gleison Tibau vs. Michael Johnson
Dennis Siver vs. Manvel Gamburyan
John Howard vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
William Macario vs. Bobby Voelker
Robbie Peralta vs. Estevan Payan