The Ultimate Fighting Championship built a fourth quarter of 2013 that included some of the most important fights of the year. Everything came to a head on December 28th, 2013 at UFC 168 and when it was Ronda Rousey and Chris Weidman remained champions.
Featherweights Dustin Poirier and Diego Brando started the main card and brought with them animosity that came from Brando being grossly overweight for this fight. “The Diamond” used that motivation to control much of the bout even though Brando had his own good flashes.
The end came when Poirier would begin to land multiple body shots and then attacked his opponent's head. Dustin would drop him against the cage which led to an opening for the ground and pound finish with six seconds left in the round.
Jim Miller came into the Octagon in dire need of a win. He's struggled mightily in recent fights as his record was a meager 2-2 in his last four. Fabricio Camoes was also coming off of a defeat and long injury layoff. Miller would be able to get his career back on track with a submission win over a fellow grappler via arm bar in the first round.
The two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts hit the ground when Camoes scored a takedown. But Miller would use his active guard to set up the arm bar. Carmoes would try to fight it for a few seconds before being forced to tap out.
Heavyweights Travis Browne and Josh Barnett met for an opportunity to move one step closer to becoming the number one contender for the UFC's heavyweight belt. “Hapa” needed only a few minutes to snatch that position away from the former UFC champion with a devastating knockout victory.
Browne would use his reach to keep Josh at bay but “The Warmaster” would find a way to get in close which would start the end of the fight. Shooting in on a double, Barnett pushed Browne up against the cage but Travis would land a knee to stop the former champion's momentum. From there, he landed multiple elbows to the side of Barnett's head that did more than enough damage to end the contest. The fight would be stopped by Yves Lavigne but Josh was already unconscious with blood streaming from his face.
Browne will now move on to face Fabricio Werdum at some point in 2014 to determine who will be the next man to face Cain Velasquez.
Miesha Tate had the opportunity to defeat the woman who took her Strikeforce bantamweight title in 2012 when she faced Ronda Rousey in the co-main event of the evening.
They started out very quickly as they stood and exchanged blows back and forth. Tate would attempt a takedown that would allow Rousey to use her world class Judo and get the fight to the floor. However, for the first time in her career Ronda would not be able to quickly secure the arm bar that has brought her victory seven times before. Tate would do enough to create scrambles and separation to avoid the submission. Tate drug the fight into the mud long enough to escape the first round but the champion had dominated up to that point.
The second round was much of the same as they continued to exchange in the striking department. Ronda displayed a growing skill set on her feet but quickly changed the game to Judo whenever Tate tried to score with her wrestling. Rousey would even get an arm extended but Miesha would be able to escape and make it into the third round.
“Rowdy” would use another hip toss variation to score another takedown to start the third round and it would be this time which would allow her to get the arm extended and force the tap out.
While the crowd reigned down boos, Ronda Rousey affirmed that she is not only the star of all women's mixed martial arts but perhaps the biggest star that the UFC has to offer today.
Chris Weidman brought the UFC's middleweight title into the Octagon to defend it against the man he took it from in Anderson Silva this past July. One of the most highly anticipated fights of all time, the Weidman versus Silva rematch would end in one of the most shocking ways possible.
Weidman would rock the former champion early and end up in Anderson's guard after dropping down punches in an attempt to end the fight. The rest of the first round would be Weidman landing elbows and punches from inside of Silva's guard. Anderson would land punches off his back as well as he would cut his opponent open, but Weidman did enough work to take the first round.
The end would come in a scary sight during the second round. Anderson Silva would throw a leg kick that Weidman routinely checked. However, Silva's leg would snap against Chris's shin and immediately break. Silva screamed out in pain and fell back to the mat forcing Herb Dean to immediately stop the fight. Anderson Silva's leg was broken and it was clear that the fight was over, allowing Weidman to retain the title via referee stoppage.
UFC 168 brought to a close one of the most exciting years of mixed martial arts action. There were exciting fights and what appears to be the sad end to a prolific career. As 2014 looms the largest organization in the sport will have a lot of momentum to carry them into the new year.
Chris Weidman defeated Anderson Silva via TKO due to leg injury in round two.
Ronda Rousey defeated Miesha Tate via submission in round three.
Travis Browne defeated Josh Barnett via TKO in round one.
Jim Miller defeated Fabricio Camoes via submission in round one.
Dustin Poirier defeated Diego Brando via TKO in round one.
Uriah Hall defeated Chris Leben via TKO in round one.
Michael Johnson defeated Gleison Tibau via KO in round two.
Denis Siver defeated Manny Gamburyan via unanimous decision.
John Howard defeated Siyar Bahadurzada via unanimous decision.
William Macario defeated Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision.
Robbie Peralta defeated Estevan Payan via TKO in round three.