LAS VEGAS — Chris Weidman wanted to put Anderson Silva in the rear-view and he ended running into a very game Lyoto Machida.
Weidman gutted out a five-round brawl — and Fight of the Year candidate — to retain his UFC middleweight title with a unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46) at UFC 175 on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay. Weidman looked dominant over the first three rounds, but got tired in the fourth and Machida took advantage. Machida poured it on late in the fifth, nearly finishing Weidman. But Weidman shook it off and motioned "come on" as the bell sounded.
Weidman beat Anderson Silva twice last year, both under strange circumstances. There’s no doubting his worthiness as middleweight champ now after beating the former light heavyweight.
In the co-main event, Ronda Rousey absolutely destroyed Alexis Davis by TKO in just 16 seconds. Rousey landed a knee, judo tossed Davis down and mauled her with punches in an incredible performance.
Also on the main card, Uriah Hall defeated Thiago Santos by unanimous decision despite having a broken toe and Russell Doane beat Marcus Brimage by split decision.
A scheduled bout between Stefan Struve and Matt Mitrione was scrapped Saturday when Struve fainted in the locker room. Struve was attempting to come back after a heart ailment.
MAIN CARD (PPV)
Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida
Weidman still has a lot to prove. Beating Machida would definitely silence some of the doubters. Machida is a former light heavyweight champion and has looked awesome at middleweight.
Herb Dean is the referee for this middleweight title fight.
Weidman throws three leg kicks. Different kind of opening for Weidman.
Weidman is walking Machida down. That’s what machida likes, though.
Lots of feeling out.
Machida kicks and Weidman catches it. Machida stuffs the takedown though.
Weidman lands a kick and a knee. Then a combination.
More kicks from Weidman. Don’t recall this many from him in the past.
Machida lands a straight left. Best strike of the round for him.
"USA" chant opens up. Ugh.
Machida stuffs another takedown. Very technical round so far. And very interesting.
Weidman chases Machida down as the round ends.
10-9 Weidman — The Long Island native landed a bunch of kicks to the body and legs and also a good combination. Weidman is keeping up the pressure. Machida is still feeling stuff out.
Machida eats a left coming in. Weidman is running Machida down, which you don’t really want to do. Leg kick by Weidman.
Weidman lands a right. Machida back with a body kick.
Weidman is using kicks very effectively to back Machida up. Weidman just misses a combination. Machida is so elusive.
Body kick by Weidman.
Good left by Machida. Weidman shoots in. Machida is down. Weidman on top right in front of his own corner.
Weidman with some ground and pound. Knees from Weidman to the head after Machida gets up.
10-9 Weidman — Another very good round by Weidman. His fight IQ is off the charts against a very technical, tactical opponent. He’s using his kicks so well and mixing in combinations. Machida was in trouble on the ground for a brief second.
Machida more aggressive early in this round. Head kick attempt.
Machida slips out of a takedown attempt. Weidman almost over-committed to that one.
Weidman pressuring him. Goes for another takedown and it’s stuffed by Machida.
Weidman gets him down this time. He’s on top in guard.
Elbow from the bottom by Machida. Weidman is holding position. Crowd doesn’t like it much.
Machida gets up. Weidman lands a knee in the clinch.
Good combination by Weidman. And a big right hand. He’s getting off now.
Machida is in big trouble. Weidman is touching him. Weidman takes him down after a Machida knee to the body. Machida is cut.
Machida turtles up against the cage. Weidman slams him down. Ground and pound from turtle position.
Machida is up and bloody. Dominant round by Weidman. Round over.
10-9 Weidman — Very impressive round by the champion. Weidman’s diverse attack and takedowns have really owned this fight. That was his best round yet.
Knee by Weidman to the body. Nice body kick by Machida.
Weidman is still pressuring. Machida’s back is near the cage.
Good combination by Machida, who might need a finish.
Weidman takedown. Machida is defending well and could get up. He does.
Machida lands a huge left hook. Probably his best strike of the fight. Backed Weidman up. Machida hurts Weidman again with a left. Wow.
Combination by Machida. Weidman lookes very tired. Big cut coming back to hurt him?
Machida lands another left. Weidman is backtracking now. Machida looking good.
Machida stuffs a takedown. "Machida!" chant popping up.
Weidman has never been in a fourth round. Worth noting.
Machida stuffs another takedown. Machida is attacking big time. Weidman lands a knee. Machida hits another left at the bell. Wow. What a round.
10-9 Machida — What a fight. Machida looks to have the momentum here. Weidman is tired. But Machida also needs to finish. Fun stuff.
Machida lands a hard body kick. Weidman slips.
Machida is much quicker at this point. Elbow my Weidman.
Weidman really wants that takedown, but he’s not getting it. Machida lands a combo. Weidman against the cage.
Knees from Weidman in the clinch. Weidman lands a big right. And a left. Wow. Machida knee.
Head kick by Weidman misses, but he lands a right. Machida attacking. Damn, this is great.
Knee by Weidman. Big right hand. Machida is hurt. They’re both throwing!
Weidman takedown. Wow. That was huge. Half guard. Machida needs to get up.
Weidman has Machida’s back. Hooks are in. Machida shakes out. But he’s still in a bad spot. Time running out.
Machida is up. Thirty seconds to go.
Machida comes forward with big punches and knees. Weidman waves him in. It’s over. Wow, wow, wow. That was awesome.
10-9 Machida, 48-47 Weidman — That was incredible. I’ve got Machida winning the last two rounds, but Weidman took the first three. Who knows what the judges thought though?
Official result: Chris Weidman def. Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46)
Analysis: Absolutely great fight. Weidman won the first three rounds and kind of gassed. Machida is more than game. He’s a former champ. There could be a rematch in the future. Just an exceptional fight.
Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis
Rousey’s walkout to Joan Jett is the best in MMA. Goosebump-inducing. Alexis Davis walks out to Lorde. Well, that’s not the same.
Rousey has never lost and only one fighter has been out of the first round with her. Davis is a significant underdog. Can she hang?
Yves Lavigne is the referee for this women’s bantamweight fight.
Davis lands a punch. Rousey tosses her down and lands many, many punches to Davis’ face. Davis is out. Lavigne steps in. It’s over. Wow. Rousey is scary. Frightening.
Official result: Ronda Rousey def. Alexis Davis by TKO at :16 of the first round
Analysis: Welp. That was a complete and utter rout by Rousey. She knee’d Davis, ragdolled her and then punched her in the face about 10 times until Davis went limp. Rousey is absolutely ridiculous. Davis was like a child. Unreal.
Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos
Knockout artist Hall remains a super intriguing prospect. Can someone almost 30 be considered a prospect? Maybe because we almost certainly have not seen the best from him. Santos is coming off a nasty liver kick knockout of Ronny Markes. This one has KO written all over it.
Stand-up battle so far. Good leg kicks by Santos. Hall is trying to measure him.
Santos is looking better than expected standing with Hall. Hall, of course, has some serious, serious power.
Santos is working on those leg kicks nicely.
Hall takes Santos down, but Santos is back up. Hall is feeling those leg kicks.
Hall lands a right and Santos misses his own, almost spiraling into the ground. He winged that one.
Good left by Hall. He’s pressing forward now.
Hall’s hands are down. Did Santos do something to upset him?
Nice finish to the round by Hall, but Santos tenderized that leg. Hall is limping.
10-9 Santos — Hall messed up his foot, apparently. There’s a huge bump on it and the toes are a bit gnarly. Hall said it was broken. Wow. He’ll continue.
Big right hand by Hall. He’s looking very confident.
Hall with a nice kick-punch combination.
Hall catches Santos’ leg on a kick. Santos is down momentarily.
Santos hasn’t done much in this round. This fight has turned.
Lunging right hand by Hall. Santos goes for a takedown. Hall no-sells it.
Hall goes for an ultra quick spinning back kick. Man is fast.
Hall goes for a rolling kick at the bell. Crazy. Nice round for him.
10-9 Hall — Good round for Hall. Big difference from the first round. He’s loose and in rhythm.
The doctor comes in again to ask Hall if he can continue. Looks fine to me.
Good footwork with a broken toe from Hall.
Gorgeous combination from Hall. Santos can’t match his speed.
Overhand right by Hall. Santos has a good chin. H’s done a nice job as a counter-striker here.
Spinning back kick by Hall. Head kick. He can really be fun to watch.
Santos finds Hall’s groin with a crane kick. Ouch.
Santos trying to grapple now. And that makes sense. Santos has Hall pressed against the cage. Knees to the thighs.
Hall rolls on a kimura. Santos escapes and he’s on top. That’s how the fight ends. Pretty good one, too.
10-9 Hall, 29-28 Hall — Fun fight. Hall won the final two rounds after getting hurt by leg kicks in the first. Hall had a broken toe throughout and it didn’t seem to affect him at all. Now he looks like he’s in pain.
Official result: Uriah Hall def. Thiago Santos by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Analysis: Good performance by Hall, who is still one of the more intriguing guys at middleweight. He’s super athletic and very technical. He’s just missing a little killer instinct. If he finds it, he’s scary.
Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane
Brimage lost to Conor McGregor in his last fight, but has won four of five overall. Doane, a pretty nice prospect at 135, has also won four of five.
UFC officials just confirmed the Stefan Struve fight is off. He fainted in the back. Had an elevated heart rate.
Meanwhile, Doane has Brimage down and now has his back. Brimage is defending well, but Doane is keeping his position very well.
Brimage explodes out and they’re up.
Good leg kick by Brimage. He did well on his feet, but that time on the ground cost him the round. Yes, I’m aware that rhymes.
10-9 Doane — Nice ground work by the Hawaiian. Brimage needs to stay out of those positions on the ground.
Brimage is getting off now standing up. He lands a good combination, dropping Doane and then he drops him again with an inside leg kick.
Another hard leg kick. Doane is hurting.
Doane shoots in for a takedown. Good timing. Right when Brimage was going for a kick.
Brimage is back up. He needs to stay that way. Being on the ground is doing him no favors.
Doane is trying to time his takedowns when Brimage goes for the leg kick. Smart.
Doane pushes him up against the fence. Doane shoots and Brimage counters nicely. They’re back up.
Brimage goes for a leg kick. Round over.
10-0 Brimage — We have a fight, ladies and gentleman. Brimage looks sharp standing. Doane has been good on the ground. The third round — and where it ends up — will determine who wins.
Brimage continues to work that left leg. Doane is hurting.
Doane goes to his knee after another leg kick. Brimage is fighting very smart.
Doane is completely out of rhythm and likely in a good deal of pain. Credit him for hanging in there.
Good combination by Doane. He needs to turn it on though. High kick. Brimage blocked it.
Another good combination by Doane. He probably waited a little too long. Because that’s it.
10-9 Brimage, 29-28 Brimage — Brimage took advantage of a potential leg injury to Doane very nicely. He was losing the fight up until that point and was able to change his straregy and attack with inside leg kicks. Smart stuff and it should earn him a win.
Official result: Russell Doane def. Marcus Brimage by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Analysis: Brimage is a big, athletic and skilled 135-pounder. He’s not the most technical of fighters, but he has some potential. Doane does, too. Who knows what would have happened if he didn’t hurt his leg?
PRELIMS (FOX Sports 1)
Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres
What a huge opportunity for Caceres. He has never fought anyone nearly as good as Faber, but he is just starting to reach his potential. Faber is a huge favorite and for good reason — the guy has never lost a non-title fight in his entire career.
Faber shoots and Caceres stuffs it. They’re in a messy clinch. Faber is having a hard time completely imposing his will in the clinch.
Faber works hard and does get Caceres down. Caceres’ head is against the cage. He has Faber in guard. Faber is trying to work. Caceres is defending well from the bottom, but what he really needs to do is get up.
Faber lands a big elbow. Then a punch. Faber postures up. Caceres is looking for an upkick. No dice. Round over.
10-9 Faber — It wasn’t entirely dominant, but yeah. No doubt about that one. Faber didn’t do a ton of damage, but he did take Caceres down and keep him there. And that counts for a lot.
Faber lands a big right hand and then takes Caceres down. This is gut-check time for Bruce Leeroy. He needs to show some life here.
Nice combination by Caceres. Caceres lands a kick, but Faber catches it. Caceres goes down again. But right back up.
Caceres is doing OK right now. Lands a knee to the body in the clinch.
Faber takes Caceres down. He’s looking for his back, but slips off.
Faber with a pretty throw, but Leeroy is back up.
Faber is going a nice job not standing in front of Caceres. When he has, it has been trouble. But he’s always moving. And of course he doesn’t get tired.
10-9 Faber — Caceres is hanging in just fine, but Faber just has a different gear. He’s stronger and more athletic. That’s making a huge difference.
Faber takes Caceres down and takes his back ridiculously quickly. Caceres taps. Wow. Faber remains a beast at age 35. His longevity is incredible.
Official result: Urijah Faber def. T.J. Dillashaw by submission at 1:09 of the third round
Analysis: It’s a shame Faber has never had a reign as UFC champion. He’s been in the mix at featherweight and now bantamweight for almost a decade. It’s pretty amazing. Is it time for him to call out T.J. Dillashaw, his training partner, yet?
Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcantara
Alcantara has won 10 of 11 fights and he isn’t even the best Alcantara brother. Robertson has won two of three. And he’s never really any fun to watch.
Robertson being Robertson, gets Alcantara tied up in a clunch. Robertson takes him down and he’s working some ground and pound.
This is actually a pretty decent performance so far by Robertson. Alcantara is no slouch on the ground. Robertson is completely dominating him in top position.
The entire round goes that way.
10-9 Robertson — Pretty clear round by Robertson. Well done. Also, not very exciting.
Alcantara was faring well on his feet, but Robertson, after a scramble, gets him back down to the ground. The Brazilian doesn’t really want to be here. But it looks like he’s about to get up.
Nope. I was wrong. Shocking, I know.
Robertson slips into mount. Alcantara is in a ton of trouble. Robertson is pretty good at finishing.
Robertson is going for the americana. That’s some BJJ 101 right there.
Alcantara escapes. But Robertson finishes the round with significant ground and pound. Big elbows.
10-9 Robertson — Robertson is looking pretty good. One of his best performances and he’s a pretty durable, solid fighter in the UFC.
Robertson presses Alcantara against the cage and lands a hard knee to the groin. Alcantara is going to take his time here. And for good reason.
Robertson with a nice combination. Alcantara is so concerned with the takedowns that he’s giving up his face. Not good.
Robertson throws a knee in the clinch and connects — to Alcantara’s groin. Again. Oof.
Robertson gets a takedown. Inaction, so referee Chris Tognoni stands them up.
Alcantara shows some life at the end, but it was too late.
10-9 Robertson, 30-27 Robertson — If the judges see this any differently, well I just don’t know anymore. Robertson dominated in every aspect.
Official result: Kenny Robertson def. Ildemar Alcantara by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Analysis: Robertson looked strong. He tried to finish, too, and nearly did at the end of the second round. Very good performance from him. Alcantara is not bad. Just a little slow and stiff. This won’t make him a welterweight contender, but it’ll keep him getting interesting fights. Nice job by the judges ruling the second round 10-8.
Chris Camozzi vs. Bruno Santos
Camozzi is trying to snap a two-fight losing streak. Santos lost his UFC debut back in September. So, yeah. This is not a contender matchup.
Mario Yamasaki is your referee for this middleweight bout.
Bruno Santos looks like a Brazilian Manny Gamburyan.
Santos lands an overhand right. Camozzi felt that one. Santos is doing a decent job getting inside Camozzi’s big reach.
Santos presses Camozzi against the cage. That’s how the round ends.
Santos 10-9 — Santos is a pretty stocky dude and he looks a little gassed. But so far he’s winning the fight. Camozzi hasn’t done anything really noteworthy.
Santos catches a knee and slams Camozzi down. This isn’t so good for Camozzi, who was much better off if things stayed standing.
Santos is landing some ground and pound, but nothing significant. Camozzi is too tall. Santos is too far down on his hips.
Santos passes to side control. He has a graps on Camozzi’s head and neck. Pretty slick.
Camozzi gets back in guard. Poor decision to mount by Santos.
Hard left from the top by Santos. He’s in half guard. Santos back in side control. Camozzi is back up. Not for long. Santos trips him down.
That’s how the round ends. And it was pretty ugly.
10-9 Santos — Yep, another one for the Brazilian. He’s doing what he has to do, even though it’s pretty awful to watch. Camozzi has to finish.
Maybe Camozzi is actually right-handed. That would make sense.
Camozzi just can’t seem to find that straight left. He wants it bad.
Santos takes Camozzi down with a big slam. Camozzi grabs the top of the cage. He’s cheating, ref. C’mon now. Oh wait, he’s still on his back. Never mind.
Camozzi needs to finish. Santos takes him down. Pretty terrible performance by Camozzi. Santos caught a knee as Camozzi came in. Time is ticking.
That’s how things end. Mercifully.
10-9 Santos, 30-27 Santos — Nice win for Santos, I guess. He did what he had to do. Camozzi just didn’t seem to have a game plan, or maybe he did and just ignored it.
Official result: Bruno Santos def. Chris Camozzi by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Analysis: This fight was filler. Neither guy has any chance to do anything at 185. And Santos might be too short for this weight class anyway. Also: Who had Camozzi winning a round? What’s that about?
George Roop vs. Rob Font
Roop has won three of four in the bantamweight division. He’s also freakishly tall for a 135-pounder. Font is making his UFC debut. He has won nine straight on the indepedent circuit.
Font is trying to swarm early. Getting inside that long reach of Roop. That’s what he has to do, but he can’t come in all willy nilly either.
Roop pushes Font against the cage. Font separates. He seems to be pretty athletic.
Font just pulverized Roop with a right hand. Goodness. That was crazy. Massive overhand right knocked Roop cold.
Official result: Rob Font def. George Roop by knockout at 2:19 of the first round
Analysis: Wow. So, Rob Font. That’a 10 wins in a row for the kid from Boston. He might have a pretty solid future at 135. George Roop is a pretty effective gatekeeper. Really nice win.
EARLY PRELIMS (Fight Pass)
Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos
Vasconcelos just sprinted to the cage. Guess he’s ready for his UFC debut. He’s also not wearing a shirt or anything. He’s pumped to just get in there.
Zachrich is coming off a loss in his UFC debut to a Brazilian jiu-jitsu guy in Caio Magalhaes. Of course, that’s what Vasconcelos is, too.
Zachrich’s striking looks sharp to start out. Vaconcelos looks slightly surprised. Might want to shoot for a takedown.
It isn’t like Zachrich is landing a bunch of punches, but he’s been by far the more active fighter.
Nice striking exchanges here. Entertaining round.
Vasconcelos lands a left hook. Best strike of the fight so far for him.
Zachrich working the jab. His boxing is really solid.
The round ends with Zachrich picking Vasconcelos apart.
10-9 Zachrich — Really nice first round for the Columbus, Ohio native. His boxing is pretty strong. Zachrich’s ground game might actually be his greatest strength, but it makes sense for him to stay standing against Vasconcelos.
Vasconcelos is starting to get hip to Zachrich’s game and now he’s looking for a takedown. But he’s not getting any. He had to at least put it in Zachrich’s mind, so that’s good.
Zachrich lands an elbow as Vasconcelos comes in.
Vasconcelos working leg kicks now. At least he’s trying something different.
Vasconcelos is showing some confidence here. Zachrich is slowing down. The Brazilian has pretty technical boxing, too, and he’s showing it off more now.
Good round. Zachrich still did more.
10-9 Zachrich — Vasconcelos came on late and looked like he was starting to figure things out. But Zachrich won that round again. He’s looking pretty impressive, relatively speaking.
The third round starts much like the other two with Zachrich working his boxing. Vaconcelos slips and falls. Zachrich won’t follow him down there. Smart move.
Vasconcelos lands a hard left round. He needs more of those.
Lots of inactivity by both men. Probably a little tired. For good reason.
Vasconcelos attempting to turn things up. This might not be an awful time to change it up and take Zachrich down. Time is wasting.
Good right hand by Vasconcelos. He’s pushing forward now, knowing he needs a finish. Nice clich knee by Vasconcelos.
Vasconcelos ends the fight with a combination. Good attempt, but it’s not going to be enough.
10-9 Vasconcelos, 29-28 Zachrich — Zachrich looked really strong in the first two rounds and then cruised a bit in the third round. Unless the judges’ monitors don’t have Fight Pass, this should be a victory for Zachrich.
Official result: Luke Zachrich def. Guilerhme Vasconcelos by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Analysis: Zachrich is good on the ground, but his boxing has come a long way. We definitely learned that in this fight. The jury is out on Vasconcelos, but there’s no doubt Zachrich can win fights in the middleweight division.
Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush
Kevin Casey, of Ultimate Fighter and being Spencer Pratt’s boy fame, is making his UFC return. Both he and Bush have had success on the independent circuit, in RFA and Legacy, respectively.
Kevin Casey, eh? Wow. Really impressive start — and then finish — for Casey.
He immediately clips Bush with a left hand and then lands some serious, serious ground and pound. Bush is out. This one is over. That was savage. Wasn’t Casey supposed to be boring?
Official result: Kevin Casey def. Bubba Bush by TKO (elbows) at 1:01 of the first round
Analysis: Kevin Casey always looks like a million bucks — he has an incredible physique. He also has some skills, but his cardio has been trouble. He didn’t need any of that tonight. He absolutely crushed Bush. That’s a good sign for "King" moving forward.