Just one Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view (PPV) event shy of the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's twentieth anniversary show, UFC 167, which takes place next month (Nov. 16, 2013), company president Dana White declared tonight (Oct. 19, 2013) that he witnessed his best show ever.
And boy, was UFC 166: "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3" from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, an event to remember ... forever.
"Without a doubt the greatest night of fight we have ever had," White gushed to Joe Rogan post-event. "From the first fight of the night, right up to the Heavyweight championship, it's the best fight card we have ever had."
The evening began with Kyogi Horiguchi stopping via technical knockout in round two of their Bantamweight bout that was featured on the Facebook.com / YouTube.com "Prelims" under card. Andre Fili followed it up with a stoppage of Jeremy Larsen and then Anthony Ferguson went on to submit Mike Rio.
FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" started up shortly therafter, with Jessica Eye scoring a huge upset over Sarah Kaufman via razor-thing split decision and Hector Lombard turning out the lights of Nate Marquardt to celebrate his Welterweight debut.
And then, shit got nuts.
John Dodson finished Darrell Montague and then -- more than 100 pounds heavier -- Gabriel Gonzaga terminated Shawn Jordan, with the two fights lasting less than six minutes combined. Then, it was showtime, as Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez went to war, delivering an all-time classic that literally left White, as well as those who watched it, speechless.
"Diego Sanchez has this heart that I've never seen before -- he's a maniac," White said. "He's a fighter at the core … [stutters heavily]. I just can't put it into words what Diego Sanchez is…. Everybody, all the guys -- I know it's hard not to focus on Diego Sanchez and Gilbert Melendez -- but from the first fight of the night, all the fights that happened, everybody gave it 100 percent. The place was sold out, the crowd was into every fight … it was amazing."
Indeed, despite a listless Light Heavyweight co-main event between Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson, the main event between UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos delivered the goods, too. In fact, it was so brutal -- with Velasquez beating up "Cigano" for the better part of four rounds (watch video highlights here) -- White suggested that it should have been stopped in the third round rather than the final frame.
UFC 166 was certainly among the best MMA events ever, from bottom to top, but to hear White tell it, "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3" was the greatest of all time.
For now ...