It’s time to step into the Octagon once again as we take a look at the latest offering from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, with Anderson Silva defending his Middleweight title against Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 162, shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday morning here in Britain.
The show began with the preliminaries and the lightweight encounter between Edson Barboza and Rafaello Oliveira.
If you ever wanted to see a display of tremendous kicking in an MMA environment then this is the fight for you. Barboza went to work with the kicks as soon as the fight began, and it wasn’t long before Oliveira began to show signs of this assault.
Oliveira managed to get in a few blows, but with Barboza stuffing his takedown attempts there just didn’t seem to be anything for him, and by the end of the first round his limp was apparent for all to see.
Barboza continued his assault into the second round, and it wasn’t long before Oliveira became the proverbial one legged man in a you know what contest. He was in big trouble, and when a kick sent him tumbling to the mat for a second time the referee waved the fight to give Barboza the TKO win.
Then it was up to heavyweight as Gabriel Gonzaga took on Dave Herman.
The blink and you’ll miss it affair of the evening saw Herman testing the waters with a couple of front kicks. But when Gonzaga connected with a big right Herman fell like a sack of spuds. The Brazilian followed him down to seal the deal before the referee stepped in to give Gonzaga the TKO win after just 17 seconds.
It was back to lightweight for the next fight as Norman Parke faced Kazuki Tokudome.
This all southpaw affair proved to be an intriguing three rounder with good performances from both men. It began with some nice striking exchanges, but when Tokudome scored with the takedown he put in a good stint on the ground, until a rather strange sequence saw Parke reverse the positions quite easily.
As the second round began Parke really began to up his striking game. Tokudome was more or less a static target with a granite jaw as Parke connected with a series of overhand lefts that would probably have felled a horse. But the Japanese fighter kept coming back, although a little more head movement would have helped him quite a bit.
Tokudome began to come into his own in the third round. With Parke visibly tiring he managed to score with a few takedowns. He later went for a guillotine choke towards the end, but the clock was against him.
So with no finish the judges were called upon for the firs time as Parke took the unanimous decision.
The final preliminary fight featured middleweight action as Chris Leben went up against Andrew Craig.
Now this wasn’t too bad. The first two rounds looked very even. Leben was somewhat relentless at times with his takedown attempts, but whenever he succeeded with this particular tactic Craig always managed to get back to his feet. As for the striking although Craig had a little more success Leben was the one who was constantly moving forward and pressing the action.
All that changed in the final round though. Craig had his man down on the ground after a flurry of blows, and although he followed him down it wasn’t long before Leben managed to get back to his feet. But as the round went on Craig scored with further takedowns, and although the Crippler went looking for a couple of submissions a final takedown towards the end more or less cemented Craig’s dominance in this round.
As for the judges there was a difference of opinion as Craig took the split decision.
With some time to spare it was on to filler material in the form of the welterweight encounter between Seth Baczynski and Brian Melancon.
Baczynski went into this one with a big height and reach advantage, but that meant nothing to Melancon when he opened his account with a big left the rocked his man and opened up a cut just over his right eye. From there he fought the perfect fight, mixing in a couple of takedowns with some crisp striking. It was a tactic that cause Baczynski no end of trouble.
But just when it looked like the fight was going to make it into the second round Melancon delivered another flurry of ground and pound, and as the horn sounded to signal the end the referee called the fight to give Melancon the knockout win.
The main show began in the featherweight division as Cub Swanson took on Dennis Siver.
This was a great start to the main show. It began with an exchange of kicks, and as the action progressed both guys got in their fair share of good shots. However, it wasn’t long before Siver scored with a takedown. It was then he showed how much his ground game has improved when he transitioned from position to position. It really was a solid performance from the German.
When the second round began the striking exchanges returned. Swanson started to looked like the better fighter, and when he rocked Siver with a right uppercut the German tried to counter with a takedown only to be taken down himself. A few moments later Swanson found himself in the mount position, although Siver did manage to escape and take Swanson’s back as the round ended.
It was back to striking as the third round began as Swanson took control. A couple of right hands sent Siver crashing to the ground. Swanson followed him there for an unanswered barrage of blows, and when two big rights sent his man into la-la land the referee waved the fight to give Swanson the TKO win.
Middleweight action followed as Mark Munoz took on Tim Boetsch.
Boetsch began his shift in the cage with a front kick and a takedown, but it wasn’t long before Munoz managed to escape. From there this turned into an intriguing back and forth encounter with both men enjoying success on the ground and with their striking.
But from the second round onwards Munoz took control. As soon as he took the fight to the ground he dominated. He literally hit everything that was legal to hit with shots that could fell a giant oak. Boetsch tried for a few submissions in the third but none of them led anywhere, such was Munoz’s control.
As for the judges no surprises here as Munoz took the unanimous decision.
More middleweight action followed as Tim Kennedy went up against Roger Gracie.
While this may not have been as action packed as the last fight it certainly was an interesting encounter. Gracie had a very good first round, especially on the ground. While Kennedy had trouble closing the distance Gracie had no trouble in scoring with the takedowns, and it wasn’t long before he took his man’s back and synched in a body lock. He didn’t have everything his own way though as Kennedy managed to roll over into his guard.
Kennedy came back well in the second round. He show no hesitation as he took Gracie to the mat as he out-grappled the grappler for the majority of the round, and given that he was having trouble in the striking department because of Gracie’s height and reach advantage it seemed like a sound decision.
Round three was the tapering off period in the fight. Gracie looked exhausted, but despite this Kennedy was still having trouble closing the distance. This force him to rely on leg kicks, and whey had their desired effect, although not much else of note happened before the final horn sounded.
Which meant that the judges came into play as Kennedy took the unanimous decision.
The co-main event featured feat weight action as Frankie Edgar took on Charles Oliveira.
This one was kind of fun. For three rounds they engaged in a fast paced and somewhat frantic back and forth battle filled with great striking and a nice spot of grappling. For the first two rounds both guys got off some good shots, especially Edgar as he proved that the height advantage Oliveira had wasn’t a problem for him. He also showed that he wasn’t afraid to take his man down, although he almost fell to Oliveira’s guillotine at the end of the round.
When the third round began Edgar took control when he rocked Oliveira with some big combinations, and when he scored with the takedown he continued his striking with some well placed ground and pound.
But despite all of this there was no finish in sight, which meant that the judges came into play once again as Edgar took the unanimous decision.
The main event saw Chris Weidman challenging Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title.
This certainly proved to be an interesting encounter. Weidman scored with the takedown just 30 seconds into the fight, and although he got in some good ground and pound shots Silva managed to get back to his feet a few moments later.
It was then that the showboating began. Silva spent more time posing and posturing than actually fighting, bringing back memories of the Maia debacle a while back. It just seemed as if he was taking his challenger too lightly.
The posturing continued when the second round began, although he did put in some work when Weidman went for a takedown. However, it wasn’t long before Silva was posing again, and this led to his downfall. When Weidman connected with a left hook Silva pretended to be hurt, but another left a few seconds later sent him crashing to the mat. Weidman followed him down for a few more shots before the referee stepped in to give Weidman the title winning knockout win.
The show rounded out with more filler material and a second showing of the Gonzaga/Herman fight.
In conclusion - well, we certainly weren’t expecting that, were we?
UFC 162 will go down as one of their best shows this year. From top to bottom it was filled with great action and great performances.
However, this show will always be remembered for it’s main event. Although he will go down as one of the best of all time Anderson Silva made several mistakes, mistakes that cost him dearly. He clearly underestimated Chris Weidman, and he didn’t see him as a threat to his title, which explains all of the showboating and the fooling around.
All of these mistakes led to his downfall, and although he’s given us a ton of great memories over the years he certainly blotted his copybook here.
As for my fight of the night no-prize that honour goes to the Munoz/Boetsch encounter.
So with all of that out of the way let’s wrap this thing up by giving UFC 162 the big thumbs up.