Fighters Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida put on a spirited battle in their middleweight title fight at UFC 175 in Las Vegas. After a thrilling five-round battle that left both fighters bloodied, it was Weidman retaining his 185-pound belt via unanimous decision. It was a compelling affair that saw Weidman dominate the early rounds and survive a late onslaught from “The Dragon.” The contest produced a well-deserved Fight of the Night bonus for both competitors.
Weidman improved to 12-0 with the victory and successfully defended his title for a second time. “The All-American” was forced to dig deep and show grit and resolve against the dangerous Machida. He’s now a perfect 8-0 inside the Octagon with two of those victories coming against legendary former champion Anderson Silva.
Unfortunately, Weidman hadn’t gotten his due credit for those wins over “The Spider” because of the way the fights ended. A clowning Silva was knocked out in their first meeting at UFC 162 and he sustained a broken leg in the rematch at UFC 168. Weidman has hopefully silenced his critics with this latest performance as he validated his title reign with a gutsy effort. There was nothing fluky about his victory against the former light heavyweight champion.
Weidman utilized relentless pressure, effective striking and takedowns to jump out to a sizeable early lead on the scorecards. The champion’s best round came in the third as he was dominating the action and had Machida bloodied and battered.
The tone of the fight and drama would be ratcheted up in Round 4 as Machida turned the tide. He was able to land some highly-effective kicks to the body and hard left hands. The final round was an action packed one as both Machida and Weidman fought with a high sense of urgency. Weidman seemed to be in control after landing a huge standing elbow followed by a takedown. However, Machida would get to his feet and deliver a tremendous flurry in the dying seconds that rocked the champion.
All three judges’ scorecards gave the nod to Weidman by scores of 49-45, 49-46 and 48-47. Both men did themselves proud with their crowd-pleasing performances. Weidman will likely make his next title defense against Vitor Belfort if “The Phenom” can get his licensing issues resolved.
Machida failed in his bid to become just the third fighter in UFC history to win titles in two different weight classes. He was classy in defeat and vowed to make a strong return. It was his first loss in three contests since making the move down to the 185-pound division. His performance against Weidman showed that he still looms as a major threat for any middleweight contender.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.