LAS VEGAS >> Chris Weidman unanimously outpointed Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 on Saturday night to retain his middleweight title.
The judges had Weidman ahead 49-46, 49-45, 48-47 over Machida (21-5). This was Weidman’s second title defense after shocking the MMA world with a victory over long-time champion Anderson Silva one year ago.
In the co-main event, women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey stopped Alexis Davis at 16 seconds of the first round. Rousey improved to 10-0 with all wins by way of submission, KO or TKO. This was her fourth consecutive title defense. The former Olympic Judoka was praised during her post-fight interview for her improved striking skills and replied, “I box six days a week and grapple four days a week. I have more to catch up on striking, so that’s what I train the most. I think I can do better.”
Rousey rocked Davis with a solid right, secured an immediate judo toss and landed nine punches, knocking out Davis and forcing the referee to stop the fight in what became the second-fastest knockout in UFC title bout history.
Rousey, jeered by fans following her past UFC victories, received a loud ovation from most in attendance.
“I’m not sure if they’ll keep cheering me,” Rousey said. “I’m not going to keep my fingers crossed, but thank you, I appreciate it.”
Weidman and Machida landed big shots in the first round, with neither taking time to feel out their opponent. Weidman pressed forward for most of the second round, keeping Machida on his heels and got a takedown against the fence with just under a minute left.
Weidman was able to land a few shots to the grounded Machida as he rose just before the bell.
“I just had to keep moving forward and keep pushing,” Weidman said. “This is MMA. I’m confident standing and I knew kicks were going to be a part of the game.”
Machida’s awkward style and solid kicks kept Weidman’s offense in check for most of the first half of the fight.
“He’s as good as I thought. He’s really tricky in there,” Weidman said. “When you think he’s going to do something, he doesn’t.”
Weidman opened things up in the third round, slamming Machida twice and landing two big straight rights that stunned the challenger and sent him into survival mode. Machida stuffed most of Weidman’s takedown attempts throughout the fight and dazed the champ with a straight left halfway through the fourth round. Machida added a few kicks and punches to clearly gain the momentum in what was his best round.
In the fifth round, both fighters landed multiple power shots and both were hurt. Weidman seemed to take control of the round with a late takedown, but Machida fought back and had the champ in trouble against the cage as the final bell sounded.
“The plan was to keep the fight standing but Chris was tough,” Machida said. “He is the true champion.”