BY NICK BASRAN
COMING off consecutive lackluster pay-per views, UFC 175 broke the rut and gave the fans something to talk about for weeks to come. Dana White was feeling the pressure of the attention he has been receiving recently for a topic that is quite new for him, fans turning their backs on the company and becoming picky as to which PPVs they would hand over paychecks for. It has been quite noticeable, especially at UFC 174 in Vancouver, that there are more rows than seats that are empty but that seemed to change at 175. With a co-main event card with the names of Urijah Faber, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida there was much doubt that seats and PPV buys would be a hot ticket this July.
From the first card to the last it was an event that was made to please although it is fair to say that Russell Doane was not the better man and that Marcus Brimage should have gotten the decision in his Bantamweight debut. Next up was Uriah Hall, whose last appearance in the octagon was at UFC 168 where he retired Chris Leben. Yes people may say that Leben was done before he started the fight but regardless of his record and age, Uriah Hall proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the UFC domain. Again Hall was dominant against Thiago Santos as he stuck with his kickboxing style and somehow continued to fight and kick with an exposed broken toe. When I say exposed what I mean is there was bone sticking out of his toe and he continued to still kick with that foot and win via unanimous decision. Yes he is human. In the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Hall explained what he felt during the bout with his broken toe as Hall said, “Every moment, I would feel my bone shifting out of my skin.” What he said after that is what will make people look at Uriah Hall from a new perspective.
“If you’re not going after your dreams, you just exist,” Hall said. “You don’t want to just exist; you want to get the most out of life.”
During the event, Stefan Struve was unable to compete due to a “near-fainting episode” and his bout with Matt Mitrione was canceled.
After making her UFC debut just over a year ago, Canadian Alexis Davis was getting her first shot at the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship but had to go through the undefeated champ in Ronda Rousey. Coming into the fight many people were expecting Rousey to go back to the arm bar after winning her last fight via TKO. Unfortunately for Davis she did not. Her moment of glory lasted a mere 16 seconds as Rousey was immediately on the offense and was able to land a punch that signaled the downfall for Davis. From there it was a swift knee to the head and a textbook judo throw that enabled Rousey to land a fury of punches before the fight had to be stopped via KO. The Canadian looked rattled afterwards before realizing what had just happened. Whether you boo her or cheer for her, Ronda Rousey cannot be denied the praise of being not the just the most dominant woman in the UFC but quite possibly to the most dominant fighter currently in the organization.
It was going to be quite hard to top Rousey’s dominant performance but the main event just may have done that as Chris Weidman looked to defend his UFC Middleweight title against Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida who last fought for a title over two year ago. Off the bat it was the champ who looked dominant and confident throughout the first 3 rounds and even bust open Machida. To his credit Machida did make it interesting in the final 2 rounds as he looked as if he was building a comeback and channeling his inner Rocky Balboa. In the end Weidman proved that his last two fights against Anderson Silva were not flukes and that an unblemished record of 12-0 was due to his skill as he proudly retained the Middleweight title.
After it was all said in done and Bruce Buffer had announced the winner, I can honestly say with many people agreeing with me that this PPV restored many people’s faith in UFC and that Dana White does know what he is doing. What Dana White is doing is letting the fighters do their thing and is now starting to step back from the spotlight and allow people to appreciate and focus on the talent within the UFC.