They’ve smushed chins. They’ve mushed lips. But tonight at UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman will let their fists do the love-making, and the only bodily fluids being exchanged will be BLOOD. [Ed. note: Look, I'm doing my best here.] Whether the Brazilian G.O.A.T. makes his 11th middleweight title defense, or the “All-American” lives up to his Rocky-esque underdog hype, I think we’re in for a hell of a battle.
Handling our liveblog for the “Silva vs. Weidman” main card is Alex Giardini, who will be slingin’ live results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest updates, and feel free to mouth off in the comments section.
Come along as we head to Las Vegas and breakdown some of the undercard as well as all of the main card bouts for Zuffa’s latest 2013 PPV offering. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, as usual.
Melancon makes his UFC debut as the +250 underdog after a 1-1 record in Strikeforce against a -300 Seth Baczynski. “The Polish Pistola,” who is built like a middleweight, will enjoy a 7 inch height advantage and should be able to keep the fight standing to compliment his striking advantage in this bout. Melancon has yet to be finished and fight goes the distance at -195 is a fairly safe prop option for a single bet. Baczynski makes the parlay.
(Using so-phisticated technology, Jurassic Park scientists were able to extract the preserved blood from Munoz’s bone spurs and BINGO! Dino DNA. Photo via Munoz’s Twitter.)
Fact: Chris Weidman hits so hard that his victims often fail to quantify the force of his punches until weeks and sometimes months after they’ve been hit. Just ask middleweight contender Mark Munoz, who received such a vicious beating at the hands of Weidman last July that his bones began to disintegrate over the course of the year in an attempt to deal with the shock. Hell, even Weidman’s body cracked under the pressure of possessing two pipe bombs for hands. So it’s quite fitting that, almost a year to the day after their clash at UFC on FUEL 4, both Weidman and Munoz have been booked to return to action at UFC 162.
If you recall, Weidman’s teammate, Costa Phillipou, quickly stepped in as a replacement against Boetsch at UFC 155 and managed to successfully cut “The Barbarian’s” title hopes right out from under him with a series of eye pokes and headbutts that were eventually declared a third round TKO. Prior to the loss, Boetsch had racked up 4 straight wins in the middleweight division over the likes of Hector Lombard and Yushin Okami among others. Will ring rust play a factor in Munoz’s return to the octagon, or will Boetsch launch himself right back into the short list of contenders at middleweight with a win here?
Munoz vs. Boetsch is just one of several exciting matchups to be announced within the past few hours, so join us after the jump to check out the chronologically-sorted list.
We suppose its possible that Weidman’s elbow surgery is unrelated to sticking it to Munoz. MMA Fighting has the report. “[Weidman] underwent surgery at the Sanford Surgical Tower on his left elbow to clean out bone chips that had developed over time.”
According to the report, Weidman had been dealing with elbow issues for over two years.
You’ve gotta feel for Mark Munoz. In the past year, the dude has suffered not only one of the most disgusting elbow injuries on record (see above), but one of the most brutal, not to mention late stoppages of the year at the hands and elbows of Chris Weidman (see below). And he did the latter while rocking one of the goofiest haircuts in MMA history.
And just when you thought that Munoz might be headed down the path of recovery and redemption, it appears that he could be out of action for an entire year to deal with a foot injury he suffered in preparation for the ass kicking he would receive courtesy of Weidman.
(A replay of the Munoz/Weidman ending in all its gory glory for those of you who missed it.)
Right before he kinda sorta announced his pending retirement from the sport during the UFC on FOUEL TV post-fight show, Stephan Bonnar made the audacious claim that referee Josh Rosenthal should be fined and/or suspended for his late stoppage during the Mark Munoz/Chris Weidman fight. After Weidman landed some 12 or 13 unanswered shots on a helpless Munoz, I briefly thought that we were witnessing the first death in the promotion’s history, and my immediate reaction was almost that of agreement. Almost.
Because, although it is hard to deny that Rosenthal dropped the ball Wednesday night, the stoppage was likely considered even worse because it was a revered official like Rosenthal who made it. This wasn’t Steve Mazzagati calling an eye poke a TKO or Kim Winslow letting Jan Finney return from the dead only to be killed once more. This was Josh freakin’ Rosenthal, a man who had not only made our top five referees list a couple years ago, but had easily climbed up it a few spots in the time since. This was a man who had, as GritandMettle’s Darren Jensen put it, “reffed Shogun vs Hendo perfectly” — the same goes for his excellent job in the first round of Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin’s UFC 116 heavyweight title fight. What we’re saying is, this isn’t an everyday occurrence for the guy. Hell, can anyone even remember an instance in recent memory that Rosenthal has even come close to screwing up (Faber/Mizugaki maybe)?
In retrospect, Bonnar’s assessment was a little harsh, but Rosenthal was still willing to admit that he shit the bed, so to speak, when he appeared on SiriusXM’s “Tapout Radio Show”.
Check out a few snippets from the interview after the jump.
Recently, however, it appears that Bisping has had enough, and has turned the tables on the bullies that simply wont let him be, threatening to kick not only Stann’s ass, but calling out Hector Lombard (sort of), then Anderson Silva, and now Chris Weidman as well. Apparently fed up with all of the “respect” Weidman was receiving for “finishing” a fight against a “top” contender, Bisping took to Twitter to vent his frustrations:
Weidman looked great last night. But no1 contender? If that’s the case I want to fight him and prove I’m the number 1 contender. Let’s do it.
Now, we understand that Bisping may very well think that he’s the number one contender, despite the fact that his last win against a top or even upper-tier middleweight dates back to, you know, never, but this is getting a little redundant at this point, is it not?
(A replay of Weidman’s incredible standing elbow and the savage ground-and-pound finish, via fueltv.)
With so many contenders clogging up the upper echelon of the UFC middleweight division — all with their hands out for a title shot — Chris Weidman had to do something extra special to get noticed in his fight against Mark Munoz last night. Because let’s face it: Until now, his name wasn’t setting off alarm bells with many casual fans. Sure, the Serra-Longo-bred wrestler/grappler was 4-0 in the UFC, but his personality wasn’t “colorful” enough to create hype around his fights (à la master salesmen Sonnen, Bisping, Mayhem), and if your most impressive performance in the Octagon is a submission win over Tom Lawlor, you still have a long way to go, right?
So this is how you make your name in the UFC. Step 1) Utterly dominate an opponent who was himself thought to be one of the next challengers to the middleweight title. Step 2) Finish the fight in a way that immediately clinches a spot on future “Best Knockouts of 2012″ lists, both for its technical brilliance (the Spider-esque timing of that standing elbow!) and for its hard-to-watch brutality (uh, you gonna stop this one any time soon, Josh?). Step 3) Call out Anderson Silva after the fight — hell, go ahead and say you can submit him — just four days after Silva re-cemented himself as the most untouchable 185′er in MMA history.
And so, a main event that was not officially a #1 contender’s match might turn out to be one after all. Sure, there are bigger names than Weidman in the title hunt — and maybe he’ll have to fight somebody like Alan Belcher or the Lombard/Boetsch winner before he gets the opportunity — but no matter what the future holds for him, Chris Weidman is a star now. In one fight, he went from being a semi-anonymous contender to the name on every UFC fan’s lips.
Meanwhile, Mark Munoz drops down the ladder where hungry middleweight up-and-comers like Constantinos Philippou and Francis Carmont are on their own heat-seeking paths to contendership. In other words, the UFC middleweight division has never been deeper and more exciting — which makes it the worst possible time to take a high-profile loss, especially one in which you weren’t competitive for a single moment of the fight. We haven’t seen the last of the Filipino Wrecking Machine by any means, but it’s going to take him a long time to claw his way back to where he was before Wednesday night.