LAS VEGAS-It was a bad night for Brazilians, but a good night for Rowdy Ronda Rousey who pretty much controlled Miesha Tate to retain the UFC bantamweight title on Saturday.
Riverside's Rousey (8-0) was finally tested and it was her archenemy Tate (13-5) who extended the champion before more than 14,000 fans jeering and cheering at the MGM Grand. UFC 168 also saw former champion Anderson Silva lose once again by technical knockout to Chris Weidman when he snapped his shin bone kicking the champion.
When Rousey emerged from the tunnel into the arena a chorus of boos greeted her as she had a scowl that basically said "I don't give a hoot about your boos."
"I enjoy the boos," said Rousey.
After enduring a humiliating experience with The Ultimate Fighter experience, Rousey was ready to take it out on Tate. Boy did she.
Tate immediately was bludgeoned and bloodied in the first round by the powerful Rousey who was able to toss the challenger to the ground numerous times. Several right hands to Tate's face resulted in a bloody nose and several small cuts. An arm bar attempt was thwarted by Tate, but other than that, it was all Rousey. But, Tate became the first female fighter to last more than one round.
Rousey dominated the second round too and immediately grabbed an arm bar that Tate was able to survive. A vicious hip toss by Rousey took Tate to the ground again where the blonde champion dominated on top. Nothing Tate tried worked. Rousey used a ground and pound on Tate and kept her largely ineffective. Another attempted arm bar by Rousey seemed to spell the end for Tate. But once again the challenger made it until the end of round two. Tate had survived another round.
Washington's Tate walked back to her corner looking weary but the fans cheered her loudly. In round three everything would change as the champion Rousey immediately took down the challenger and maneuvered on the ground for one of her arm bars. There was no escape this time as Tate tapped out at 58 seconds of round three.
"She's a better fighter tonight," said Tate who attempted to shake Rousey's hand but was ignored. That elicited even more boos.
Rousey explained that Tate and her team disrespected the Californian's team during the TUF filming and would not accept a handshake until apologies were rendered to Team Rousey.
"But she's an incredible fighter," said Rousey after the fight. "I respect Miesha very much as a competitor."
Rousey won Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night according to Dana White. She will be returning to the Octagon in February.
Weidman wins again
UFC middleweight champion Weidman (11-0) was the favorite after knocking out Brazil's Silva (33-6) in their first meeting. This time Silva knocked himself out of the fight when he broke his left foot kicking Weidman's leg in the second round. It was a gruesome scene watching Silva's dangling foot on the replays.
"He's still known as the greatest of all time," said Weidman of Silva.
Weidman dominated the first round after taking down the former champion. Silva spent most of the five minutes on his back as the champion rained elbows and fists. But Silva survived only to lose by a brutal injury.
"Slowly but slowly people are going to believe in me," Weidman said.
Former heavyweight champion Josh Barnett (33-7) ran into a knee while attempting a take-down of Travis Brown (16-1-1), then was knocked unconscious by four successive elbows to the head at 1:00 of round one. It was a devastating setback for Fullerton's Barnett who had fought his way back to heavyweight contention by knocking out Frank Mir. Browne was unapologetic about his victory.
"There's a new breed of fighter," said Browne who is originally from Hawaii. "I'm a blue collar dude."
Veteran Jim Miller (23-4) showed Brazil's Fabricio Camoes (14-8-1) he knows a thing or two about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu too as he submitted the submission expert with an arm bar at 3:43 of round one. It came as a big surprise to many. "I had a lot of fantastic jujitsu instructors," said New Jersey's Miller.
Dustin Poirier (15-3) softened Brazil's Diego Brandao's body before powering right hands and lefts to end the fight at 4:54 of the first round of the featherweight fight. Poirier was tactful at first as Brandao fired wide lefts and rights. The body shots changed the tone of the fight. "I busted my butt for this show," said Poirier. "I'm living the dream."
Uriah Hall (9-4) opened the middleweight fight with a flying knee that immediately caught and dropped veteran Chris Leben (22-11). After mostly moving away from Leben the younger fighter fired a perfect right to Leben's chin and down he went. The first round ended but Leben told the
ringside doctor he was done. "Give it up to Chris Leben, you know he's a warrior," said Hall. "It's a hurt business."
In a battle of southpaws it was Michael Johnson (15-8) who emerged victorious with a one-two punch knockout of Brazil's uber muscular Gleison Tibau (37-10) at 1:32 of round two. Johnson pounced on Tibau once he went down and the referee stopped the lightweight fight quickly.
Brazil's William Macario (8-1) entered with bleached blonde hair but exited with red hair after a bloody mess of a fight with Missouri's Bobby Voelker (24-11) to win by unanimous decision after three rounds. Macario landed vicious shots from the opening round but Voelker withstood every blow despite suffering a possible broken nose and cuts over the along both eyes. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Macario.
After two nip and tuck rounds Robbie Peralta (17-4) stepped on the gas and blasted away on Arizona's Estevan Payan (14-5) to win by knockout at 12 seconds into the third and final round in a featherweight fight. "I decided to finish him off," said Escondido" Peralta.