UFC 169: "Barao vs. Faber 2" was a record-setting mixed martial arts (MMA) event last night (Sat., Feb. 1, 2014) at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., but not for the reasons one would figure. Indeed, out of the 12 fights on the Super Bowl weekend pay-per-view (PPV) card, 10 of them went to the judges scorecards ... an all-time high for the promotion.
"That's not one you will hear me brag about at press conferences," UFC president Dana White told MMAmania at the post-fight press conference (watch full video replay here). "I would have to say I was pumped with the first fight of the night. It was awesome. Those two went out there and it was such a great fight. I wasn't pumped about our record tonight, but that fight was awesome."
White was referring to the fight that kicked off the PPV portion of the card between Jaimie Varner and Abel Trujillo (watch full fight video highlights here). Easily and unequivocally the highlight of the evening occurred when Trujillo landed a devastating right hand after being bombarded by punches from Varner and knocked him out cold, sending him face down into the Octagon floor.
Despite the highlight, UFC 169 continued to disappoint, ending on a sour note with Herb Dean making a questionable stoppage in the main event between Urijah Faber and Renen Barao. Faber appeared to be defending himself and on the replay you could see he was giving Dean a thumbs up.
Nonetheless, the veteran referee made the stoppage at the 3:42 mark of the opening round to a stunned crowd in New Jersey.
"It's one of those tough fights. This kid (Barao) comes out and looks unbelievable," White lamented. "He (Faber) recovers and comes back, gives the thumbs up and everything. They both kind of get screwed tonight. Barao gets screwed and Faber gets screwed.
"It's one of those ... It's the cherry on the 10-decision, record-breaking catastrophe this evening."
The good news is that it could have been much, much worse.