The UFC President had a grin the size of Texas on his face all night long as fight after fight lived up to the hype. There weren’t any duds or down fights for fans to purposely ignore and convert into bathroom or chat breaks.
Literally, every fight on Saturday night left fans at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on their feet. It was a special kind of night, one in which White tells FOX Sports’ Ariel Helwani he’s never witnessed before:
“Yeah, I think it’s the best card we’ve ever done. Top to bottom, the fights were unbelievable. I don’t know. If somebody can tell me a card that was better than that one, I’d love to hear it.”
It’s hard to argue with White after witnessing such a crazy night of fights.
Perhaps the most talked about fight was the “Mexican World War” between Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez. On the pay-per-view telecast, UFC commentator Joe Rogan called it the “fight of the century.”
A technical rout by Melendez early in the fight turned into an all-out brawl in the final stanza as a bloodied and battered Sanchez went for broke. If not the fight of the century, the third round of Melendez vs. Sanchez might be the most exciting round in the history of combat sports.
“Heart” was the keyword all night long.
Like Sanchez, former UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos once again proved he had a heart the size of Brazil after taking another lopsided beating from Cain Velasquez.
By the time the fifth round rolled around, one of dos Santos' eyes was completely swollen shut and the other was impaired by an open gash in the corner of it, which was bleeding profusely. A busted up face never stopped dos Santos from staying in the pocket and exchanging competitively with Velasquez, who threw everything he had at him.
Referee Herb Dean contemplated stopping the fight several times. At one point, he even touched Velasquez in a motion to stop the bout, but dos Santos’ incredible tenacity seemed to jolt him back to life every time it looked like the fight was over.
Those lucky enough to witness UFC 166 in person or on pay-per-view walked away with an experience to remember for the rest of their lives. This was the kind of event that represents every reason why we love this sport.
UFC 166 may very well be the best event in not only the UFC, but it could go down as the single greatest all-around fight card in the history of combat sports.