UFC 175: Grades for Every Main Card Fighter
On Saturday night, UFC 175 went down in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a main event featuring a middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
The co-main event had "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey looking to defend her women's bantamweight title against Alexis Davis for the fourth time.
A heavyweight fight between Stefan Struve and Matt Mitrione was cancelled when Struve fainted backstage, per Fox Sports' Damon Martin.
Rounding out the card was a middleweight fight between Uriah Hall and Thiago Santos and a bantamweight fight between Marcus Brimage and Russell Doane.
Let's check out grades for all of the main card fighters.
Marcus Brimage was making his bantamweight debut against Russell Doane. Brimage had a 6-2 record going into the fight, having suffered a knockout loss to Conor McGregor in his last fight.
Brimage clearly lost the first round of the fight after getting controlled on the ground and having to fight out of several rear-naked choke attempts.
The second and third rounds looked like Brimage was controlling the action, scoring leg kicks and even a knockdown in the second.
When the final scorecards were read, Brimage lost a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27). He still fought a solid fight and arguably deserved the win.
Russell Doane was set to fight Marcus Brimage on the main card in just his second UFC fight. Doane had previously won Submission of the Night for his technical submission victory in his first UFC fight.
Doane had a solid first round, where he took down Brimage and threatened with a rear-naked choke on several occasions. Brimage escaped toward the end of the round, but Doane had clearly won the first.
The next two rounds saw Brimage landing leg kicks and a few takedowns while stuffing nearly all of Doane's attempts. After three rounds, it looked as though Brimage would win the decision, but the judges thought differently, as Doane was awarded a split-decision victory (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
Uriah Hall was ready for his first fight in seven months against Thiago Santos. Hall's last fight was a victory over Chris Leben, and he had lost both his fights before that, so he still had something to prove.
Hall was able to show some of his flashier moves, throwing several spinning kicks and spinning backfists.
However, what was most impressive about Hall's performance was that he suffered a broken toe in the first round but continued to fight the final 10 minutes as if nothing was wrong. In fact, he continued to throw kicks with the injured leg.
As the fight wore on, Hall was able to exploit a speed advantage, and he used that to claim a unanimous-decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
Thiago Santos was making his third appearance in the Octagon. He had lost his first by submission and won his second by TKO, so he was looking to pick up two in a row and get some momentum in the division. Unfortunately, Uriah Hall wasn't having any of that.
Santos had some success early in the fight, but as he slowed down, Hall picked up the pace and picked Santos apart.
Santos would lose the unanimous decision and drop to 1-2 in the UFC and 9-3 overall.
She won in 16 seconds. Ronda Rousey hit Alexis Davis with a big right hand, followed it up with a knee, then landed a judo throw into side control with head control. From there, she landed at least eight unanswered punches, and the fight was over.
Sixteen seconds is the second-fastest win in a title fight, second only to Andrei Arlovski's win over Paul Buentello, which took 15 seconds.
Rousey gave arguably her best performance yet Saturday night.
Alexis Davis came out ready to fight. She'd seemed like she was going to give Rousey a really good challenge.
Then it ended in 16 seconds. I'm not sure if it could have gone worse for Davis overall, although she did put up a decent fight against the ref.
Chris Weidman had a lot to prove coming into this fight. His naysayers called his first win against Anderson Silva a fluke and said the second was due to a freak accident. His fight with Lyoto Machida could go a long way to proving all of them wrong.
Weidman controlled the fight in the first three rounds, easily winning all three with little room for debate. The fourth round saw him slow down a bit, as he allowed Machida to win that round and gain momentum going into the fifth.
The fifth round was hard-fought from both competitors, with Machida and Weidman scoring solid shots, but they did make it to the final bell.
When the scorecards were read, Weidman found that he had retained his middleweight title by unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46).
Lyoto Machida was looking to become only the third two-division champion in UFC history. He was facing Chris Weidman, a man who had twice defeated his teammate and friend, Anderson Silva, in brutal fashion.
Machida was beaten handily in the first three rounds but turned it up in the fourth and won that round. He had momentum going into the fifth and won it on at least one judge's card. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, as he would lose the unanimous decision.
It was a very close fight, though, and Machida will definitely have something to offer Weidman in their—hopefully—eventual rematch.