For one hot minute, it looked like the rematch between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate was going to headline the UFC’s end-of-year pay-per-view event. That all changed late last week, when UFC president Dana White announced that the rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva was going to be slotted in as the main event of UFC 168.
If you think that Rousey is going to grouse about being bumped to the co-main event status, you’d be wrong.
In fact, it seems that Rousey sees the change in the card’s lineup as a blessing in disguise. Rousey, speaking to John Morgan of USA Today, said, “I'm super stoked about being on the same card as Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. It'll alleviate some of the promotional stress and pressure because there'll be more of us working to promote this big card.”
With two marquee grudge matches at the top of the card, there will be high expectations. In fact, UFC president Dana White set the bar himself when he announced the Weidman versus Silva rematch to ESPN and said, “This will be the biggest fight in UFC history. This is the biggest fight out there.”
Weidman took the UFC middleweight title from Silva at UFC 162. After enduring the taunts and showboating of Silva, Weidman caught him on the chin with a left, dropping Silva to the mat, where he finished him with strikes on the ground. The loss was the first of Silva’s UFC career.
Rousey and Tate recently finished their coaching stint on season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, and there’s no doubt that the tension between the two will be high heading into their rematch. The first time the two met in March 2012, Rousey submitted Tate by first-round armbar, capturing the Strikeforce women’s title in the process. That title morphed into the UFC title when the UFC shuttered Strikeforce.
Stacking UFC 168 with two heavily anticipated title fights will have fans and pundits keeping a close eye on the fight card. The promotion will obviously be looking to put up huge pay-per-view numbers with the December 28 fight card.
The biggest fight in UFC history? We’ll find out in a few months if the fans agree with White’s assessment.