UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman defended his title for the second time in a sensational main event with Lyoto Machida at UFC 175. The bout went the distance, with Weidman getting scorecards of 49-45, 48-47 and 49-46. Machida had some success on the feet, and proved his worth inside the cage, rocking the champion several times throughout the fight.
Ultimately, it was the wrestling of Weidman that got him the win, though he also showed impressive stand-up skills. Machida remains a contender, and a rematch between the two in the future would be more than marketable after a great first contest. Vitor Belfort is next for Chris Weidman, who won his eighth straight UFC victory and continued his incredible unbeaten MMA record.
Weidman saw the championship rounds for the first time his career, and slowed in the later stages of the fight which gave Machida the chance to secure the title. He gutted it out, survived a late barrage by Machida, and showed that he is the true 185lbs champion of the world.
Here is how the fight went down.
Chris Weidman hoping to defend his belt for a second time, while Machida looking to become just the third UFC fighter to held a belt in two different weight classes. This is the big one, and I cannot wait to see how it plays out.
Round 1 - Leg kick by Weidman, who misses with the head kick. Another leg kick. This may be a Shogun-esque strategy. Weidman taking the centre, and lands a push kick. Machida starting off slow, trying to get his timing and doing a good job of avoiding most of the kicks the American is throwing. Weidman looking very comfortable. Machida’s kick is caught and Weidman is deep on a single, well defended by Machida who gets the clinch then pushes away. Well done there by Lyoto. But a warning sign for him. Inside kick, and another from Weidman. They’re engaging, each land a couple of short shots. Inside leg kick again by Weidman, and Machida misses the counter. Weidman’s kicks are landing effectively. Two body kicks by Weidman. Inside leg kick again but Machida counters with the left. Machida went for the high kick but misses. He lands his second attempt. Weidman with a spin which is very telegraphed. Machida is so quick, and nearly gets a lead uppercut to land. Nice fake for the takedown and a sharp left by Weidman. Front kick to the body by Machida lands, and he avoids the catch. 20 seconds left. A close round, mostly a feeling out process and neither fighter committing too much. Machida with the knee to the body at the end, and avoids the counter.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Weidman.
Round 2 - Inside leg kick by Machida. Weidman doubles up on the jab, then hits an inside leg kick of his own. Machida now taking the centre. Front kick to the body is blocked by Weidman. He doubles up on the jab and lands a short left on Machida, who’s back peddling now. Leg kick is checked. Machida gets countered. But he lands a nice body kick there. Another really tentative round so far. Machida with an inside leg kick. Weidman with the teep. Machida returns. Short left by Weidman counters Machida. Jumping front kick backs Machida up. Lyoto simply isn’t keeping busy enough. Machida now feinting that crane kick. Good overhand left lands for Lyoto. Weidman with a big shot in and he gets it. Lyoto held the cage momentarily, and he has his back against the fence. Not completely taken down but it will score with the judges. 30 seconds remain. Good ground and pound by Weidman, and he is overwhelming Machida from this position. The Brazilian works his way up but eats a couple of knees from the clinch. Machida tries landing a short shot to the body which seemed to land. They end the round in the clinch, with Weidman having Machida pressed against the fence.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Weidman (20-18 Weidman).
Round 3 - Leg kick by Machida. Weidman with the jab, pushing forward. Machida opening up with the kicks more, going leg then up high but both blocked. Weidman shoots in for a takedown but shrugged off by Machida, who circles away from his subsequent punches. High kick is checked by Weidman. Another very laboured takedown attempt is stuffed from Weidman. That’s better! He lands a couple of shots to disguise the takedown, and completes it. He’s postured up in the guard and trying to land some heavy shots. Nice short elbow from Weidman. He has the back now. One hook in. He lands a big knee. But well done by Machida at disengaging. Big combination from Weidman there but a nice left counter by Machida. Huge right rocks Machida, who has a cut now on his face. Weidman pouring it on now. Machida seemed to land there but Weidman got the better for certain. Machida lands a knee to the body but unable to block to takedown from Weidman. Machida is bleeding heavy and eating some ground and pound. He works his way up but Weidman ragdolls him to the ground. Machida is in trouble. Big shots from Weidman. Machida gets back up but he’s bloodied and beaten and has two rounds to rescue this fight. He lands a kick to the body at the end of the round, but too little too late.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Weidman (30-27 Weidman).
Round 4 - First time in the championship rounds for Weidman. He lands a teep, then a leg kick. Nice long jab, and the two are hand fighting. Knee to the body from Weidman. Body kick by Machida, and another. Both landed heavy. Good combination from Weidman is followed by a knee to the body. Uppercut then a left by Machida lands. Weidman just eats it and pushes forward. Weidman gets the takedown but eats a knee to the body along the way. Machida only briefly down, he works his way up and separates straight away. Big left hook by Lyoto there! He caught Weidman sleeping. Head kick misses for Weidman. Another left hand by Machida. Weidman may be tiring. Machida pouring it on. Huge combination! He’s landing big shots now! Weidman with an uppercut. Machida misses the high kick. Body kick lands though. Weidman is fading now. Body kick again for Machida. Tags him with the left. Weidman needs to protect himself better. Machida with the combination but Weidman trying to fire back with the jabs. Overhand left then a takedown attempt by Weidman, unsuccessful. Lead uppercut from Machida. Front kick to the body by Machida, much more volume now. Weidman’s pace has slowed significantly, and his combinations don’t quite have the same pop to them. Deep shot is stuffed by Machida, who then pushes forward and lands a big combination. Flying knee from Weidman. Lyoto lands a huge left at the end of the round! What a round!
Cooper scores round 4 10-9 Machida (39-37 Weidman).
Round 5 - Weidman’s corner tell him he’s letting Machida get back into it, and it’s true. Machida had a lot of success in the fourth, and he needs to do more of the same if he wants the belt. Leg kick by Machida, and Weidman slips. Body kick from Machida. Huge combination! Lefts and rights backing Weidman up. This is gonna be an interesting round. Weidman’s combinations aren’t landing now. Left hand counter by Machida. Weidman with the single attempt but great takedown defence from Machida and he’s landing some short shots against the cage. Weidman pushes him off, and lands a knee to the body. Big right by Weidman there. Big right by Machida, a left by Weidman. They’re each trading jabs. Big combination by Weidman but Machida coming forward! They’re both really tired. Nice leg kick by Weidman who just avoids the counters of Machida. Knee to the body. Beautiful elbow and a left hook by Weidman. Great combination from the champ. Lyoto with a combination of his own. Weidman with a huge takedown with 90 seconds left in the round. In half guard and landing some short shots from this position. Machida is too tired to get to his feet, it seems. Full mount! Now the back. An elbow by Weidman. He has both hooks. He’s flattened out! Weidman landing shots but Machida shakes off the right hook, not full back control now. Machida explodes. 30 seconds left and they’re standing. Big rights by Machida! He had Weidman hurt there right at the end! What a fight that was! Machida pouring it on late but Weidman barely survives. He’ll defend the title but boy was he tested!
Cooper scores round 5 10-9 Weidman (49-46 Weidman).
Result: Weidman via unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46).
One of the best title fights I’ve seen, and Machida proved his worth. Weidman is a worthy champion but he was more than tested there. Belfort next, please.
Check out the full play-by-play for the card here. Here are the full results for the event.
Main Card: Pay-per-view
Chris Weidman def. Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46).
Ronda Rousey def. Alexis Davis via TKO (punches) at 0:16 in first round.
Uriah Hall def. Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27).
Russell Doane def. Marcus Brimage via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
Preliminary Card: FOX Sports 1
Urijah Faber def. Alex Caceres via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:09 in third round.
Kenny Robertson def. Ildemar Alcantara via unanimous decision (30-26 x3).
Bruno Santos def. Chris Camozzi via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Rob Font def. George Roop via KO (punch) at 2:19 in first round.
Preliminary Card: UFC Fight Pass
Luke Zachrich def. Guilherme Vasconcelos via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
Kevin Casey def. Bubba Bush via TKO (elbows) at 1:01 in first round.