The “Super Saturday” fight card this year featured two championship bouts, including the bantamweight title rematch between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber and the featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Ricardo Lamas.
Fighters didn’t seem overly eager to take home an extra $50,000 in bonus money, as the fight card only had two finishes. The UFC is all about breaking records, but not the kind of records that fans saw fall on Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
With 10 bouts going the distance, it was announced that UFC 169 broke the record for most decisions ever on a UFC fight card. The event breaks the previous record of nine, which was held by UFC 161.
To top it all off, the main event bout between Barao and Faber ended in controversy after a premature stoppage was turned in by referee Herb Dean. UFC president Dana White looked like a confused man who was trying to make sense of it all at the post-fight press conference:
I think [Dean] is the best referee in the business. He rarely ever makes mistakes, but he made a mistake tonight. Barao gets screwed and Faber gets screwed. It’s the cherry on the 10-decision, record-breaking catastrophe this evening.
After dropping Faber with a massive overhand right, Barao swarmed the Team Alpha Male member with multiple unanswered ground strikes. Despite being stuck in belly-down side control, Faber did a tremendous job of using his only free hand to block Barao’s punches. He even threw Dean a thumbs-up sign on the other hand to let the ref know he was still coherent.
Unfortunately for Faber, Dean was standing on the opposite side of the action, where he was unable to see the thumb being held up. With Faber trapped and turtling up for survival, Dean made the unpopular decision to step in and stop the fight at 3:42 of the first round. It was an unfortunate ending to a relatively uneventful night.
If Justin Bieber was still seeking free UFC pay-per-view, perhaps even White would have given him a pass on this card.